Soap Stars Make Prime Time LineUp

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Leveraging daytime experience for a nighttime role

New info added 7/28/03

Matthew Bomer (Ben, GL) Photo (c) CBSGL's Matt Bomer to Recur on Fox Series
Contributed by Sunni                       Photo (c)  2003 CBS

Matthew Bomer (Ben, GL) may not had gotten the Superman role he wanted, but he is still flying high after being cast in several episodes of the new series Tru Calling. The synopis for the show states that it is a cerebral drama  which follows the life of a young woman who can change the course of destiny by reliving a day.

Bomer is slated to play a crime scene photographer and love interest for leading lady Eliza Dushku. While the Vancouver-based production seems to support reports of Bomer's exit from Guiding Light, there has been no confirmation of a departure. Tru Calling also features soap vet Jessica Collins (ex-Dinah, Loving) and will premiere on Oct. 30 (8 pm/ET, FOX).

Two Soap Diva's Hit Primetime in LA Dragnet
Eva Longoria (Isabella, Y&R) and Roselyn Sanchez (ex Pilar, ATWT)

Eva Longoria (Isabella, Y&R)With new faces and new cases, production has begun in Los Angeles on the second season of LA Dragnet, now airing Saturdays (10-11 PM ET) on ABC. 

Starring as part of the revamped cast are Eva Longoria and Roselyn Sanchez, both getting their feet wet in acting on the daytime canvas.  Longoria, who is married to General Hospital's Tyler Christopher, is most known to daytime fans from her role as Isabella on The Young and the Restless.  Sanchez starred as Pilar Domingo on As the World Turns in 1996-97.  They will both play characters that work directly with newly promoted Lt. Joe Friday.  Here's the whole story:
Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf's modern-day take on the classic procedural police drama, "Dragnet," now takes LAPD Detective Joe Friday, the seasoned veteran who has seen it all, to the next level with a promotion to lieutenant of the Robbery/Homicide Division (RHD), where only the highest profile crimes are investigated. His primary duty will be to oversee and guide a potent and experienced team of young detectives and legal experts.

Roselyn Sanchez (ex Pilar, ATWT)The individuals that Friday oversees are Detective Dexter McCarron, a hot-tempered character originally from the Bronx and one of the youngest detectives in the RHD; Detective Lisa Macias, whose military background led her naturally to the LAPD, where she bootstrapped her way up in the pursuit of a gold shield; Detective James Cooper, a native Angelino who is a family man and deeply spiritual, assigned to the RHD after solving a series of gang slayings; and Detective Vanessa Cruz, well-trained in psychology and an expert interrogator. Working alongside them is politically ambitious Assistant District Attorney Sandy Chang, who hopes to eventually parlay her current role into a job as City Attorney.

"L.A. Dragnet" stars Ed O'Neill as Lieutenant Joe Friday, Christina Chang as Assistant District Attorney Sandy Chang, Desmond Harrington as Detective Dexter McCarron, Eva Longoria (Isabella, Y&R) as Detective Vanessa Cruz, Evan Dexter Parke as Detective James Cooper and Roselyn Sanchez (ex Pilar, ATWT) as Detective Lisa Macias.

"L.A. Dragnet" is a production of Wolf Films in association with Universal Network Television. Dick Wolf, Peter Jankowski and Walon Green are executive producers. Josh Pate, Jonas Pate, Jeffrey Reiner and Arthur Forney serve as co-executive producers. The series fall premiere will be in late September 2003.  LA Dragnet films in and around Los Angeles and at Universal Studios in Universal City, California.

New info added July 17, 2003

Travis Schuldt (ex Ethan, PAS)Travis Schuldt (ex Ethan, PAS) Stars with Danny Nucci and Ernie Hudson in ABC Prime Time Dramedy coming Fall, 2003

Soapdom, July 17, 2003   From Spelling Television and the producer of "Oz" and "Homicide: Life on the Streets," comes the one-hour drama, "10-8," an edgy, humorous take on the L.A. Sheriff department's rookies and their trainers, from the front lines to the patrol cars.

As a kid growing up in New York, Rico Amonte was always just one step ahead of the latest vendor or bodega owner he happened to be ripping off. After his early years as a street tough, Amonte was brought out to Los Angeles by his older brother, an LAPD detective in the Robbery/Homicide division.

Two years later, the 28-year-old Amonte is a graduate of the Los Angeles Sheriff's department and, as a deputy trainee, is now chasing the bad guys. A little older and, maybe in his own mind, a little wiser, Amonte's background doesn't give him any edge as far as his fellow sheriffs are concerned. In fact, it's a rite of passage for the trainees to be tested (read: hazed) by the training officers to separate those who are up to the task from those who may not make it through a shift alive.

But while the relationship between trainees and their training officers can be rough, these new partners must be immediate brothers and sisters-in-arms, protecting and backing each other up at any cost and in any situation. Their jurisdiction stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the San Bernardino Mountains, from suburban valleys to urban streets, from Bel Air to South Central. A day in the lives of these officers can range from peaceful to violent, from sexy to dangerous -- and just about everything in between.

Amonte's New York street smarts and ex-thug toughness are no match for his training officer, Senior Deputy John Henry Barnes, a veteran policeman for whom law enforcement is a calling. It's up to Barnes to teach Amonte the ropes, with the patrol car as the classroom. But the pair's vastly different backgrounds give them completely different attitudes on how to work the streets, and while Amonte's irreverent style can get the job done, it's rarely in a way that Barnes would call police procedure.

Barnes, for his part, counts on his twenty-three years in the force and his authoritative demeanor and knowledge of the street. Raised in South Central, he looks at police work as a chance to to some good, having watched the '65 riots from his front porch and the '92 riots from his squad car.

Among the other training officers are Deputy Sheriff Matt Jablonski, who truly believes he's God's gift to women, comedy and the badge; and Deputy Sheriff Anna Li, a tough-as-nails cop who could hold her own with any male ­ be it a police officer or a criminal. Jablonski is paired with trainee Gabriella Lopez, a young woman who carries ghetto baggage from her upbringing, which is what inspired her to become a police officer. Li is partnered with Chase Williams, a scholarly-looking, borderline geek whose life goal is to be District Attorney ­ he joined the Sherrif's department to learn how to put people in jail before getting them convicted.

When Amonte and the other deputies begin their shifts, they call into dispatch -- "10-8" -- announcing that they and their squad cars are in-service and ready to respond to all calls.

The stars of "10-8" are Danny Nucci as Deputy Rico Amonte, Ernie Hudson as Senior Deputy John Henry Barnes, Scott Winters as Deputy Matt Jablonski and Travis Schuldt as Deputy Chase Williams.

Aaron Spelling, E. Duke Vincent and series creator Jorge Zamacona serve as executive producers of "10-8," which is produced by Spelling Television Inc. (a Paramount/Viacom company) in association with Touchstone Television. The series films at Calvert Studios in Van Nuys, California.

Since leaving Passions, Schuldt has been busy producing and starring in original plays with his theatre company in Los Angeles, the Lone Star Ensemble.

Kelly Ripa and Faith Ford (Photo:  ABC)SOAPDOM, LA  May 13, 2003.  In an early morning presentation to advertisers, both NBC and ABC announced their primetime lineup for Fall 2003-2004.  Kelly Ripa (Hayley, AMC, Live with Regis and Kelly), Josh Duhamel (Leo, AMC), Vanessa Marcil (Brenda, GH), Amber Tamblyn (GH), Judith Light (OLTL) and very possibly, Paul Leyden (Simon, ATWT) all have landed starring roles in prime time series that have gotten “picked up” by networks.

Kelly Ripa stars with Faith Ford in “Hope and Faith” on ABC

The scenario:  Stay-at-home mom, Hope (Faith Ford, Murphy Brown), leads a busy, family-centered suburban life with her husband, children and live-in father.  Her celebrity sister Faith (Kelly Ripa; Hayley, All My Children, Live with Regis and Kelly) has been living the high life in Hollywood as a daytime soap opera diva.  (Who says fiction is stranger than real life? LOL) But when Faith’s character is suddenly killed of f on “The Sacred and the Sinful,” she flees Tinseltown and the relentlessly inquiring minds of the tabloid press, and seeks refuge in suburbia with Hope.   In a flash, Hope’s sensible, down-to-earth world goes star struck.  Raising three kids including a rebellious teen girl has never been easy.  But with trendy, theatrical Faith at the dinner table, parenting turns into crisis management for Hope.  “Hope and Faith” airs at 9 PM on Friday nights on ABC this fall.

Josh Duhamel Josh Duhamel, Vanessa Marcil Win Jackpot with “Las Vegas” on NBC

The scenario:  “Las Vegas” -- From Gary Scott Thompson -- the writer of “The Fast and the Furious” -- comes this fast-paced, sexy drama, which follows the elite surveillance team charged with maintaining the security of one of “Sin City’s” largest casinos. Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominee James Caan (“The Godfather,” “Misery”) stars as Big Ed Deline, the head of the surveillance team for the Montecito Resort & Casino. With his protégé, Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel, “All My Children”), an ex-U.S. Marine and Las Vegas native, they deal with card-counting cheaters, costly streaks of random luck and rival casinos stealing their big-money players. If the typical job-related pressures weren’t enough for Big Ed, he recently found Danny in bed with his only daughter (Molly Sims, MTV’s “House of Style”). Rounding out this cast of high rollers are the seductive, high-priced escort Mary Connell (Nikki Cox, “Nikki”), all-knowing valet Mike Cannon (James Lesure, “For Your Love”), pit boss Nessa Holt (Marsha Thomason, “Black Knight”) - a.k.a. the “Ice Queen” -- and elusive former Vanessa Marcilcompetitor Samantha Jane (Vanessa Marcil, “Beverly Hills, 90210”). Thompson also serves as executive producer along with Scott Steindorff (“The Human Stain”), Justin Falvey (“Undeclared”) and Darryl Frank (“Taken”). Michael Watkins (NBC’s “American Dreams” and “Boomtown”) directs this pilot from NBC Studios and DreamWorks Television.   SOAPDOM aside: Interesting how this official NBC description cites Vanessa Marcil’s role on Beverly Hills 90210 as a former credit, but lacks mentioning General Hospital for which she just won a Soap Opera Digest Award for “Favorite Return.”   Las Vegas airs Monday nights at 9 PM on NBC this fall.

Paul LeydenPaul Leyden as Det. Lancer on LA Dragnet?

The scenario:  When we broke the story of Paul Leyden (Simon, ATWT) winning over Dragnet execs when he starred in an episode as Det. Lancer this spring, we got word directly from the set that there was a 75% chance that Leyden would be signed as a series regular if the show got a Fall pick up from ABC.  The good news is that Dragnet (now renamed to LA Dragnet) has indeed gotten picked up for the fall schedule. Along with its new name, it will air on a new day and time, moving from Sunday nights at 10 PM to Saturday at 10 PM.  Will Leyden be among the series regulars?  Stay tuned to Soapdom to find out!

Paul Leyden on LA Dragnet Update
July 14, 2003

We were just informed by our very reliable set-side souce, that Paul Leyden will not be appearing on LA Dragnet in a contract role this fall season.  Although the top brass on the show plan a number of changes to cast and direction, Leyden will not be in the mix.

CBS presented its fall lineup to advertisers in New York City on Wednesday, May 14, 2003. Former soap stars Judith Light (One Life to Live, Who's the Boss) and Amber Tamblyn (General Hospital, The Ring) will appear in prime time series for the network next fall.

Amber Tamblyn (center) and cast of Joan of ArcadiaAmber Tamblyn stars in “Joan of Arcadia” on CBS

The scenario:  Joan of Arcadia  stars Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna ("Glengarry Glen Ross," "The Last Don"), Academy Award-winner Mary Steenburgen ("Melvin and Howard," "Living with the Dead") and Amber Tamblyn ("The Ring") in a drama that follows a typical family facing atypical situations -- not the least of which is their teenage daughter's sudden, unexpected conversations with God.  A tough but soft-hearted police chief, Will Girardi (Mantegna) is new to the city of Arcadia and dreams of providing a safe haven for his family and community.  An outbreak of serious crime in his idyllic new town challenges Girardi's desire for order, as do the ups-and-downs he faces with his family.  Daughter Joan (Tamblyn), an average teenager, has begun acting a little strange.  No one knows that it probably has something to do with the unusual way various people keep popping up, introducing themselves as God, and then giving her specific directions to do things -- like get a job. The appearances are hard for her to believe, even more so as she never knows who's going to turn up next.  One minute it's a cute boy her own age, the next it's the lunch lady.  For now, she's keeping it all a secret.  Rounding out the Girardi family is her mom, Helen (Steenburgen), her 15-year-old science geek brother, Luke (Michael Welch), and her older brother, Kevin (Jason Ritter), a former high school sports star who is in a wheelchair as a result of a disabling car accident.  Unsure of what God wants, and if she's even sane, Joan tentatively begins to follow God's cryptic directives, all the while trying to retain a "normal" teen-aged existence.  Barbara Hall ("Judging Amy") is the executive producer for CBS Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.  Joan of Arcadia will air Fridays 8:00-9:00 PM on CBS.

Judith Light (second from left) and cast of The StonesJudith Light Stars in New CBS Comedy

The scenario:  “The Stones” stars Jay Baruchel ("Undeclared"), Lindsay Sloane ("Grosse Pointe"), Robert Klein ("How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days") and Judith Light ("Who's the Boss?" “One Life to Live”)  in a comedy about the crazy reality of two adult children living in their childhood home with their divorcing but still friendly parents. Winston Stone (Baruchel), a brainy science geek, is thrown for a loop when he and his hip, funky sister, Karly (Sloane), meet their parents, Barbara (Light) and Stan (Klein), to celebrate their anniversary -- and the elders announce that they are getting an amicable divorce after 25 years of marriage.  Winston sees it as the end of the world but Karly acts like it doesn't really matter.  Now, as the Stones still try to live under one roof, they may nag, tease, annoy and antagonize each other -- but they always do it with love.  Emmy Award-winning writers and producers David Kohan & Max Mutchnick ("Will & Grace") and Jenji Kohan ("Gilmore Girls") are executive producers for KoMut Entertainment, Inc., in association with Warner Bros. Television Production Inc.   The Stones airs Wednesdays, 9:30-10:00 PM on CBS.