Friday, June 8, 2007

Silbermann Talks WORLD TURNS and Boundary Busting writer Christine Champagne talked to the newest star of AS THE WORLD TURNS, actor Jake Silbermann ("Noah Mayer") about the historical import (and potential) of his gay teen character's upcoming summer romance and his "natural" chemistry with on-screen love interest Van Hansis ("Luke Snyder").

Which isn't to say that the road to gay iconography has run smoothly. Silbermann tells Champagne of his first ATWT public appearance, a trip to the GLAAD Media Awards before he had even aired as Army brat-turned-news intern (turned-supercouple's son-scoping charmer) Noah. His first mistake? Not knowing to be fashionably late...

Read Champagne's story here.

RELATED - "GENERAL HOSPITAL's New Gay Hottie," the interview with Ben Hogestyn

Thursday, June 7, 2007

HEROES's Kring Signs New NBC Pact

From the Hollywood Reporter:

HEROES creator/executive producer Tim Kring, has inked a new overall deal with NBC Universal Television Studio, the studio behind the hit freshman show.

Under the two-year pact, said to be one of the biggest in television, Kring will continue as the showrunner on HEROES and will shepherd its upcoming spinoff, HEROES: Origins, as well as the various HEROES offshoots in print and digital media. Kring also is expected to develop new projects for the studio.

This marks the first major talent deal to close since Katherine Pope took the reins of NBC Uni TV as president several days ago. That couldn't be more fitting as Kring and Pope are close friends going back to the early days of NBC Studios, which the two joined within months from each other in 1999-2000.
Read the full story here.

Bianco (pre-) Handicaps (pre-) Nominations for the Prime-time Emmys

As nominated soap actors race look to the Daytime Emmys (a week from tomorrow), the soapiest actors in prime-time are at the start of the process to determine who will share the slate with their non-serial bretheren on the prime-time Emmy ballot.

This week, "nominations for nominations" ballots for the prime-time awards fest begin arriving in Academy member's mailboxes. In honor of the occasion, USA TODAY's Robert Bianco offers his suggestions for who should fit the bill.

Bianco's picks are heavy on soap players, including both prime-time serial women (Evangeline Lilly of LOST, America Ferrera of UGLY BETTY, and Sally Field of BROTHERS & SISTERS) and, after recognizing Kyle Chandler of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS on his best actor list, Bianco stocks his supporting actor slate 100% with nighttime soapsters, including Masi Oka of HEROES, T.R. Knight of GREY'S ANATOMY, and Sam Neil of THE TUDORS.

Bianco's list is strong, if a bit safe. He rightly cites that nearly every woman on UGLY BETTY could be nominated for an Emmy, before proceeding to choose the predictable--and most famous choice--Vanessa Williams as the one most deserving. While I like Williams on the show a great deal, stars Ana Ortiz and Becki Newton have given revelatory performances with characters that could easily have been one-note. He also shortchanges BETTY's men in his calculations, with nary a mention of Eric Mabius or the delightfully surprising Michael Urie. (Personally, I would have thrown Adrian Pasdar, who's complicated take on what--literally--could have been a cartoon made viewers willing to patch over a huge plot hole in HEROES's season finale, and to hope that said hole somehow means he'll still be flying into living rooms on Monday nights next season.)

Still, Bianco shows the nighttime serial the love it deserves by recognizing some of the amazing contributions that have been made by TV stars, movie stars, and newcomers alike to the genre and prime-time slate this past season. To read his full predictions, click

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, has announced via the network's official message boards that the canceled serial JERICHO has been givne a reprieve, with the network ordering seven addtional episodes to be aired, most likely, mid-season of next year.

In her post, Tassler noted, "On behalf of everyone at CBS, thank you for expressing your support of Jericho in such an extraordinary manner. Your protest was creative, sustained and very thoughtful and respectful in tone. You made a difference."

The digital elements of the show will apparently continue apace until the show makes its return to the small screen, and, should ratings improve for the final seven episodes, a long future could be ahead for the newly revived, and likely just as creepy, prime-time soap.

Jericho Fan Campaign: Just Might Be Nuts Enough to Work

Fan protests of the decision to cancel shows are nothing new. In fact, the Internet is lousy with petitions, old and new, devoted to dearly departed network and cable offerings. Soaps, however, are in a league of their own...something the editors of Soap Opera Digest (who occasionally have to beg fans to stop sending a particular item in) or executives at Proctor & Gamble, drowning in the fruits of whatever fan campaign ("place these two characters together!", "break these two up," "give _______ a new contract!") happens to be active at the time, can tell you.

[ed. note -- I even admit to to participating once, protesting Jennifer Branson's firing from GENERAL HOSPITAL--and as much as I love, love, LOVE Laura Wright's amazing take on "Carly Corinthos," I still think Bransford got screwed, and that ABC Daytime owes her a second chance someplace else...]

But such campaigns are more rare, and less successful, as a rule, in the realm of prime-time, though dissapointed fans of the canceled JERICHO, are redefining the creative fan campaign playing field.

In a recent report filed by Scott Mayerowitz for the ABCNEWS Business Division on reports that a fan campaign to deluge CBS with thousands and thousands of pounds of peanuts to protest the network's decision to cancel the show appears to be working.

So far, nearly 8 million, or 40,000 lbs. of peanuts have arrived at the offices of multiple CBS executives, and the Associated Press, citing an anonymous source, reports that the network is now reconsidering the cancelation, with a decision on whether to revive the show for mid-season next year, due soon.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

David Bauder Looks at Fall's Network Serial Plans

From the Associated Press' David Bauder:

There were two lessons from this season that television executives clearly didn’t forget: Don’t overdo the serial dramas with complex story lines that require a serious viewer commitment, and keep interruptions for successful ones to a minimum.

More dramas — and network TV is primarily in the drama business these days — will tell stories that won’t baffle the viewer who happened to miss last week’s episode.Three successful serials were particularly hurt this season by long intervals with reruns. That was fatal to CBS’ “Jericho,” which was canceled. The other two, ABC’s “Lost” and NBC’s “Heroes,” will run their new episodes uninterrupted next season, following the model of Fox’s “24.” So will the CW’s “One Tree Hill.” CBS will try the same thing with “Swing Town,” one of its most promising newcomers.

“I don’t know if we know the ideal model yet for each of them,” said Kelly Kahl, chief of scheduling at CBS. “We’re looking, experimenting, trying to find the best way to do it.”

SoapNet's Reality Fashion House Victim of $70K Crime

...thus screams the headline in the usually far more subtle ;-) New York Post.

Read the story here.

ATWT Does Branson, MO!

Two stories chronicle the adventures of AS THE WORLD TURNS on location in Branson, MO:

Branson Drenched in Drama with As The World Turns Taping
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance Tue, 05 Jun 2007 5:43 PM PDT

Where is the "Live Music Capital of the World"? (ed. note - Uhm, it's Austin, Texas) What is its latest claim to fame? It's Branson in southwest Missouri, and the longest-running daytime drama on CBS, As The World Turns, is heading there for on-location shooting June 6 - 8, with the shows plot deeply imbedded throughout the city's theater's and attractions.

'As the World Turns' filming in Branson
The Springfield News-Leader Tue, 05 Jun 2007 1:06 AM PDT

Ask Paula Graves of Morrisville if she's a fan of "As the World Turns" and she'll respond: "Does milk come from a cow? Heck, yes, I am a fan," the 49-year-old said. The CBS soap opera "As the World Turns" is filming in Branson this week and has soap opera buffs buzzing. Some are planing vacations around the show; others are driving to Branson in search of cast and crew members.

Monday, June 4, 2007

One of the surefire ways to make sure a water-cooler show does not face the dreaded sophomore slump is to make the kind of casting choices that not only keep new viewers interested, but might lead others to sample the show for the first time. NBC may be doing just that in adding a vet of a departing show of equal water-cooler appeal to the cast of the superhero soap HEROES next season.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Dania Ramirez, known to passionate fans of HBO's THE SOPRANOS as the fiancee of troubled Soprano scion A.J. (played by Robert Iler), will join the cast next season as a new character with powers.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Sci-Fi Announces End Date for Space Serial BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA

From UPI:

The Sci-Fi Channel's Peabody Award-winning and critically acclaimed series BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA is coming to a close.

Although the show's ending was not officially announced until Friday, Gallactica's executive producers, Ron Moore and David Eick, said they began feeling several months ago the show was nearing its end, reported.

"This is a decision that took some time to arrive at, and like all decisions this large, there were a number of questions we had internally and a creative agenda we wanted to serve. I think we all had to collectively decide when we wanted to be definitive about it. That time is now," Eick says.

Although Sci-Fi reportedly was not exactly thrilled with the idea of giving up the show, Moore said once he and Eick made their case, the network didn't stand in their way.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

NBC's Kostura: Casting Re-Ups Mean PASSIONS "Will Still Be the Same" After DIRECTV Move

An update on the casting re-ups as PASSIONS prepares to move from NBC to DIRECTV from The Hollywood Reporter:

NBC Universal Television Studio has signed the principal cast members of the daytime drama "Passions" to new contracts, ensuring that they will continue with the soap when it makes the move from NBC to DirecTV's original programming channel, the 101, on Sept. 17.

Those continuing with the series include Eric Martsolf (Ethan), Ben Masters (Julian), Kim Johnston Ulrich (Ivy), Dylan Fergus (Noah), Galen Gering (Luis), Emily Harper (Fancy), Lindsay Hartley (Theresa), Liza Huber (Gwen), James Hyde (Sam), Juliet Mills (Tabitha), Heidi Mueller (Kay), Tracey Ross (Eve), Eva Tamargo (Pilar), McKenzie Westmore ("Sheridan") and Erin Cardillo (Esme).

"It is important that the fans know that the show will still be the same after the move," NBC Universal vp daytime Annamarie Kostura said.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

here! Networks to Debut New Supernatural Soap

Following the overwhelming success of their sexy, supernatural soap, the witchcraft-themed DANTE'S COVE, here! Network is debuting a new scripted serial THE LAIR June 1, during Cove's summer hiatus.

here!, a premium television network programmed with gays and lesbians in mind, announced the debut of the first season will be available on the 1st and continue through August with a new episode airing every other week. The show will folllow a young journalist on a quest for answers regarding series of murders...a quest that leads him to a private gentlemen's club called "The Lair," which he soon discovers is home to a coven of vampires.

(UPDATED - DANTE'S COVE Season 2 was recently released on DVD.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Where Did All the Serial Viewers Go?

David Bauder of the Associated Press asks the question (and examines the implications for nighttime programming) here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

'Ever Wonder How New Shows Are Picked?'

In the world of TV, there's an annual high-stakes craps game. Millions of dollars are wagered, and there's just a handful of winners.

The Mercury News has a great story on the TV-show piloting process, entitled "Ever Wonder How New Shows Are Picked?"

Read it here.

DRIVE Sputters (but may rev up yet...)

Variety reports on the disappointing performance of the 2-hour premiere of FOX's action serial DRIVE (starring, among others, ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Nathan Fillion, ex-"Joey Buchanan," pictured), which suffered in a debut time-slot placing it directly opposite an original episode of ABC's hit serial DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES.

The auto-race serial, which features a fairly unique premise, may have a better chance building an audience once it settles into its permanent timeslot on Monday nights and has a chance to benefit from word of mouth among its target audience of young men. Read the story here.

TUDORS Scores Early Second Season Pick-Up

Showtime has renewed its hit period-soap opera THE TUDORS only two episodes into the show's first season.

The heavily hyped premium channel serial, starring film star
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as a young, virile Henry VIII, broke Showtime records with its April 1 debut. Though viewership has leveled off somewhat since, the series continues to post stellar numbers for the net, as evidenced by the serial's early renewal.

The10-episode second season, expected to further chronicle the marriage of Henry to the ill-fated Anne Boleyn, will debut sometime in 2008.

13 Questions With...Marlena De Lacroix

Marlena DeLacroix is a true legend in soap journalism, with more than 20 years of experience as a soap writer, editor, and, most importantly, soap fan. After wrapping up her most recent stint in conventional media at Soap Opera Weekly, Marlena boldly took on the Internet (and is thriving!) with her take-no-prisoners blog, "Savoring Soaps."

At Soappipe, we are flattered to have Marlena as a reader, and honored to have her tackle our 13 Questions With...Marlena DeLaCroix. Hi, Marlena!

What’s the name of your blog? "Savoring Soaps"

If I had to describe my blog in one sentence it would be...a continuation of my "Critical Condition" column, which I wrote weekly from 1989-2001 in SOW.

What appeals to you most about daytime soaps? Throughout all the phases of my life -- college, careers, graduate school -- I could always go back to soaps. They're home.

Do you have an all-time favorite storyline? "Alice-Steve-Rachel" (Jacquie Courtney, George Reinholdt, Robin Strasser) on ANOTHER WORLD circa 1969. Never has a heroine cried more tears, never has a villainess been more delicious, never has a hero's face been so perfectly chisled. All written to utter perfection by Agnes Nixon. Years later, I almost fainted when Reinholdt sent Marlena a tribute poem.

Do you have least favorite story? Anything with "Sonny and Carly" (Maurice Benard and Laura Wright) from GENERAL HOSPITAL. It is not romance, it is not love It's a sick never-ending obsession between two psychologically impaired people. Whoever writes them knows nothing about truth or real relationships.

Of the younger stars out there (say, 30 and under), who do you see as the future of soaps? If they're extraordinary they'll move on, as all young soaps actors always have. Examples: Jennifer Landon, Jeffrey Carlson, Bradford Anderson. What young actors of today will endure in soaps? Those that were cast because of the acting talent and training, not because of beauty or muscles.

Of today’s crop of actors, executives, writers, etc. who do you predict will be remembered as a future "great" in soap history?
The crop of execs and writers that will be remembered are the greats I got to know in the 80's and 90's: Nixon, Mr. Bell Sr., Monty, Labine, Marland, Malone, Rauch, Reilly. No one from today soaps. Anyone who is still around is strictly in survival mode, not creative mode.

Do you watch any of the nighttime serials (
Desperate Housewives, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, etc.)? Do you have a favorite? I watch the news, BBC-America programming and the games of my husband's favorite baseball team, The New York Yankees. The last truly good nighttime soap was KNOT'S LANDING.

“My readers get most riled up when…” I keep noticing that the ones who hate their soaps the most (
General Hospital in particular) persist in continuing to watch them.

“My readers love it when…” I reminisce about someone or a show I got to deal with personally over my many years soap journalist. Do you know that the recently departed Larry "Bud" Melman (of the David Letterman show) was the world's biggest soap opera fan? I always used to see him (real name: Calvert De Forest) enjoying the free food at soap parties here in NYC . He had the WORST breath I have ever encountered!

“If I could bring one soap (daytime or nighttime) back from the dead, it would be…” EDGE OF NIGHT, the best, most integellent mystery soap ever. Its late headwriter, Henry Slesar, and exec producer Nick Nicholson were two of the classiest men I have ever met.

If you had to give soaps one piece of advice to stem ratings fall-offs, what would it be? Stay intelligent! Write stories solely from character! Let women characters have careers and brains! Ban catfights! Don't hire Megan McTavish ever again!

Finally, if readers want to visit your blog, what’s the URL?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

ABC Nighttime Soaps Win GLAAD Media Awards

GREY'S ANATOMY the hit soap whose actor, Isaiah Washington, was criticized for calling a then-closeted co-star T.R. Knight a "faggot," (leading to Knight's coming out and creating a pre-Imus teaching moment for the nation and a Hollywood that prides itself on being tolerant.) was awarded outstanding individual episode Saturday, by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (for the episode "Where the Boys Are").

ABC continued their sweep--begun when ALL MY CHILDREN beat AS THE WORLD TURNS, among others, for outstanding daytime drama last month in New York--when freshman serials UGLY BETTY won for outstanding television comedy series and BROTHERS & SISTERS took home the outstanding drama series award.

The 18th annual GLAAD Media Awards -- consisting of 42 categories -- are split into four ceremonies, held in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and San Francisco in March, April and May. The awards recognize and honor mainstream media for "fair, accurate and inclusive representations" of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

'EASTENDERS'-inspired 'BORN IN THE USA' revving up for FOX

More details are emerging about the new FOX soap BORN IN THE USA, set to be a loose adaptation of the wildly popular British working-class soap EASTENDERS.

The pilot focuses on the residents of a blue-collar soap opera. Tembi Locke (Windfall) will play the mother to the teenage girl played by American Idol veteran Lisa Tucker. Jon Rowland (AS THE WORLD TURNS) will play a young Catholic priest, while Rod Rowland (VERONICA MARS) will appear as a divorced couple. Scarlett Chorvat ("The District") and Diego Serrano (ANOTHER WORLD, TIME OF YOUR LIFE) will play an engaged couple in the pilot, which comes from American Idol producers 19 Entertainment. (From

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bringing Sexy Back? MTV's 'Undressed' All Over Again

MTV is has brought back their six-season late-night daily soap opera UNDRESSED to air, SoapNet style, in marathon blocks of re-runs every night from midnight to 4 a.m. ET.

USA Today notes the cheesy nature of the soap, but points out that more than "a few UNDRESSED cast members have gone on to bigger things since the series' run [including] include Superman Returns' Brandon Routh (ex-"Seth," ONE LIFE TO LIVE, pictured), Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff, ONE TREE HILL's Chad Michael Murray, THE OC's Adam Brody and Autumn Reeser and Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Marc Blucas.

All copyrights retained by original authors. Original Soappipe and Soappipe|Opinion content copyright (2007, or current year) by Benjamin Bryant, all rights reserved.

Use of original Soappipe material either by reprint or linking permitted, as long as "Soappipe," "Soappipe|Opinion," or "Ben Bryant" is credited.