Dear Suds Buds:
This week's Top of the Week delivers to DOOL fans answers to questions they posed on the Turtle-Run DOOL message board. Plus, we've got the official run down of what happened at the set-side party for DOOL's monumental accomplishment of maintaining the Number 1 spot in the ratings in the much sought after 18-49 demographic. GL fans get the scoop on the 50th Anniversary of their favorite show, and Travis Schuldt (ex Ethan, Passions) has a special invitation for those who will be in LA on July 21, 2002. So without further ado, let's do!
NBC President Congratulates DOOL Crew & Stars for Stellar Ratings!
On Friday June 21st, Days of our Lives cast and crew gathered on the set at the invitation of Jeff Zucker, President of NBC Entertainment, and Sheraton Kalouria, Senior Vice President of Daytime Programming, for a cake presentation to celebrate Days of our Lives finishing the 2001-2002 television season as the number 1 rated daytime drama in the key demographic of women ages 18-49. The celebration also commemorated the fact that the NBC daytime line-up, for the first time in at least 22 seasons, finished # 1 in total women ages 18-49.
Executive producer Ken Corday kicked off the presentation by praising the cast and crew for an amazing year, which in Ken's words, "really kicked into high gear with the material of the new writing team." New co-head writers Peter Brash and Paula Cwikly received a thunderous round of applause after Ken Corday praised them for reinvigorating the show.
Introduced by Sheraton Kalouria, Jeff Zucker thanked the cast and crew for an incredible year and reiterated how important Days of our Lives is to the network and how proud he is personally of the show's performance. Jeff Zucker then introduced Steve Mosko, President of Columbia TriStar Domestic Television, who offered his congratulations to Ken Corday and the entire cast and crew for an amazing job well done.
Ken Corday invited original cast member Frances Reid to cut the cake, concluding the presentation.
Immediately following the cake presentation, Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn, accompanied by Sheraton Kalouria, posed for photos in front of a 4-story NBC Daytime Television banner, which is draped over one side of the KNBC building at NBC Studios in Burbank, CA where DOOL is taped. The banner, with images of Days of our Lives stars Deidre Hall, Drake Hogestyn, Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso, along with images of Passions' stars McKenzie Westmore, Galen Gering, and Christopher Douglas, proclaims "Days of our Lives and Passions: America's Favorite Soaps."
Stay tuned to Top of the Week next week, when we go "Inside the Bubble" and share with you what the network and studio execs had to say on Days monumental accomplishment. Congratulations, DOOL!
TRO DOOL Fans -- You Asked, We Got You the Answers!
Days of our Lives fans met the call of duty when we proposed the following: "If you had the ear of Ken Corday (DOOL, EP), the writers, or your favorite character, what would you ask?"
Almost immediately, we received tons of thought-provoking questions that hit to the core of what DOOL fans want to know about their favorite show. Many fans had the same concerns. We took their queries straight to the source to get the answers. We had to limit the number of questions due to time constraints, but of the ones we were able to pose, we got thorough, candid replies. Here's what TPTB and cast of Days of our Lives said back to you!
wordgurl's question was for Matt Cedeno (Brandon). "I'd love to ask how he feels about his character, and to define who he thinks Brandon Walker is. I like the guy -- he has made about as many mistakes as Brady due to lack of communication. But he seems to get the raw deal and all the negative stuff that goes along with it. How can he enjoy playing that role? What does he see happening down the road, and is his character redeemable? I think there is a lot of potential there."
Cedeno: "Brandon Walker is a man with many colors. He is genuinely, at heart, a good man. He has compassion. He loves kids. He works with kids. He loves his mother and sister unconditionally. But he's troubled by his past. It's haunting him. He can't suppress those feelings that he has. They are surfacing. He needs to address them, otherwise he is going to be a very complex and complicated individual. He has no choice but to address them soon. They are bubbling inside him.
"The character is a lot of fun to play. He started out a really dark, troubled, and a violent character, and that's starting to resurface again now. It's coming full circle. It's beginning to make sense why I've been nice to so many of the girls and helping everybody out. The Abe issue is finally being addressed. I can see it in the scripts to come. And I am really excited about that. Brandon is finally going to be able to deal with the issues that he's had suppressed for so long. For a while, I just wasn't sure which direction things were going. I was playing around with Jennifer a little bit, and Sami was still on my mind, and Lexie -- I've always been a best friend to her. Now it's been settled that the situation with Jennifer is not really working out. We broke up. So, I have Sami chasing me a little bit and I have the undeniable feelings and chemistry towards her, and Lexie is also in the picture, but she may or may not be part of a master plan. It's a little shaky at this time. I do have genuine feelings for her, she's a good friend, but she's also attached to my arch enemy -- Mr. Abe Carver.
"I want to thank the fans, and I'd like to thank wordgurl for thinking that Brandon is getting the short end of the stick."
Gorgeousbmw98, greta2242, Iacopelli, kissykisses, KaseRessicaFan, PatchnKayla, Nia and bcholly, wanted to know the reasons behind the Brady/DiMera feud. Why it started, and if it would ever be resolved?
Cwikly: "As long as we've got Brady's and DiMera's..."
Brash: "...that onion will peel. Slowly, but it will peel. It's going to take a while. Actually, there are some big, big, hints this summer, at a big event that will air on July 20 or thereabouts. It's something that happens in the DiMera living room when many of our cast visit the DiMera's house! And that's an historic event. We get hints from that and those hints will pay off down the road in the future!"
Corday: "We are getting to (revealing all) that. In the next six months, by Thanksgiving/Christmas that (storyline) will really be on the fire!
Liz25, bigleague, pfeffernuse, and Nia were all interested in the Chloe/Philip/Brady triangle and regardless of which couple they were rooting for, they had to know what was going to happen with either Chloe and Philip, or Chloe and Brady.
Co-HeadwritersPeter Brash and Paula Cwikly respond:
Cwkly: "It will be resolved..."
Brash: "...and it's going to be a really, really hot summer for both couples! We see it like a seesaw going back and forth. So, I don't think that any of the fans on one side or the other will be disappointed over what happens this summer. But eventually, in the future, it's going to have to be resolved."
Cwikly: "To have two camps (the Phloe's and the Broe's) that are so closely balanced is a testament to the characters and to the actors. They (the fan camps) are all very passionate and we (appreciate) it."
Lakota, greta2242, krazyC, LadyBelle, Kevinsgirl729 and MoonlightShadows want Sami with Lucas and asked if that would ever become a reality.
Cwikly: "Sami and Lucas will always be connected. They may be more connected at some point then they are now. They are, in my mind, magnets. When they are facing the right direction, they attract each other. When they are facing the other direction, they repel each other. There was something there once. They were good friends. They had a child. There may indeed be something there again. Lucas does leave Salem for the summer, but he DOES come back. We have already written his return, and we have some things cooking. (Sami and Lucas) are just simmering right now. We have some stuff boiling with Sami and some other people, but Lucas and Sami are simmering."
Corday: "I am going into a writer's meeting now for what's going to happen in November. Lucas will be back! Sami and Lucas. Wouldn't that be a couple from hell?"
Alison Sweeney (Sami): "Can you imagine the flashbacks you could torment me with for the rest of my life? Oh my gosh!"
Kevinsgirl729 wants to know "why it has taken so long to give Kevin Spirtas (Craig) and Patrika Darbo (Nancy) a dramatically emotional storyline when they seemed to have proven in the past that they could obviously handle it and SHINE?"
Cwikly: "We have a huge cast and we love them all. I've said this in another interview, but it's true -- the nature of soaps is that you have backburner and frontburner and people move around..."
Brash: "...and they were on the backburner..."
Cwikly: " ...for perhaps longer than they should have been...we inherited some of that. There are some people who never leave the front of the stove, but there are other burners up there, and people rotate in and out. And they have a big story coming up. It starts with Chloe's leukemia, but it's a bigger story than that, and doesn't just revolve around that."
Brash: "Those fans will not be disappointed. (Nancy and Craig's story) is all summer and into the fall. They have a lot of really great stuff ahead."
wordgurl and just peekin in wanted Mimi (Farah Faith) moved to the frontburner. They feel that she could be a character that in the future, becomes one whom they would reminisce about.
Cwikly: "I think we, starting with casting, hit the ball out of the park with these kids. I love them all. And I have been watching Days of our Lives literally since I was about ten years old. And I remember Bo and Hope (when they) were the Belle and Philip and Brady and Shawn and Chloe. I remember Days before there was a Brady family. I remember when Roman Brady first came on. If the show went by what some fans are saying now, none of those characters would exist, because when Roman first came on, and started to have parents and a brother, they would have said, get rid of this new family, we don't want them. And who is Bo and Hope and Jennifer, who were all aged up, and where would we be without them today? When you are on for 37 years and going for, God willing, another 37 more, it's got to be multi-generational. We've got to build the young characters. Peter (Brash) and I have said from the get-go that we've got to have a sense of balance. I love everybody and I want to see everybody, but not to the exclusion of everybody else. I consider myself and Peter the biggest fans of the show. I have been watching for half the life of the show. I may not remember everything, but I remember a lot!"
Many fans had Jack and Jenn questions. Cathie8791 and Melanie want to know "with Jack and Jenn back on the show now, will they ever be together again?"
Cwikly: "God willing they are both going to be back for a very long time! Yes, of course there's hope, because there is such an intense love. But there is a wide gulf that has to be bridged. I think we are seeing the beginnings of the building of that bridge starting now. They fell in love by working together first. Maybe magic will happen again.
Stevie M wants to know "why was the Spectator given to Jenn and not back to Jack?"
Cwikly: "Jack screwed up! Jack is lucky he has a job after what he did. Jack's heart is always in the right place. He just doesn't always go the right way to get there. I think this is a Jack who has learned from his mistakes, but I think Jack will always be the 'knee-jerk' reaction of the couple, and Jennifer will be the 'think it through and decide.' Jack tends to act before he thinks. Jennifer is ready, aim, fire! Jack is ready, fire, aim! Sometimes that gets him in trouble. I think he is going to try to be better, but that's who he is. Sometimes that 'ready firing' thing takes over."
Other fans wanted to see the return of Patch and Kayla, Kristen, Mike and Carrie, or Isabella. (Staci Greason is currently recurring in the role of Isabella and will be seen throughout the summer!) Azryl asked, "With Tony coming back is there any chance of bringing Anna back too? They were so good together." But just as many fans wanted to see the currently running characters given more airtime, with the return of old favorites kept to a minimum.
There were many other exceptional questions, like Mary Beth's "Why can't Sami be given a story in which she discovers her self-worth and isn't chasing some man," or auntieviv's "If you DO put Jack and Jenn back together, then what will you do to keep them from being hell's boring?" and garbos2000's "Why doesn't (Corday) set a precedent and force the writers to come up with a good story for Caroline/Shawn/Maggie/Mickey/Doug/Julie/Alice. They are the diamonds in the Days crown, and its disgusting that they are reduced to props, especially when they are some of the most talented players and some of the only ones to take Days to the Emmys in years past," and all the many more wonderful questions. Alas and alack, we didn't have time for them all.
Thank you everyone who submitted questions. We expressed your overall appreciation and enjoyment of the show of late. We also learned that Alison Sweeney (Sami) is a frequent visitor to Turtle-Run.com. Hi Ali! For those whose questions didn't get asked this time, stick around. We'll do this again, soon!
Happy 50th Birthday, Guiding Light!
Guiding Light, the broadcast industry's longest-running daily program, marked its fiftieth anniversary on television on June 30, 2002, having aired its 13,941st episode on CBS -- and 16,401st episode overall. To celebrate its milestone, the show unveiled a new opening sequence on Monday, June 24.
Created by Irna Phillips, The Guiding Light, as it was originally titled when it debuted as a fifteen-minute series on January 25, 1937, also recently marked its 65th year since its premiere on radio. Guiding Light was -- and continues to be -- produced by Procter & Gamble Productions, the company who put the "soap" in soap opera.
Over the past six decades, Guiding Light has led its counterparts in daytime and prime-time drama in exploring a range of topical and timeless issues. Beginning in 1962, the series tackled its -- and daytime's -- first social issue-driven storyline: the early detection of Bert Bauer's uterine cancer via a Pap smear. Since then, subjects addressed have ranged from organ transplant to Down's syndrome, substance abuse to domestic violence, birth control to adoption, and leukemia to cochlear implants. Of course, love, romance, family and community have always been at the core of the program.
"When Irna Phillips created her first script for Guiding Light, no one, not even Irna herself, could have foreseen that the program would be written into the record books," said Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin, Executive-in-Charge of Production for Procter & Gamble Productions. "The amazing thing is that the complexity of storytelling and production has evolved considerably over time yet the simple, life-affirming issues and values Irna began to explore 65 years ago still lie at the heart of the show, resonating with viewers."
On radio as well as television, Guiding Light has continually captured the hearts and minds of viewers with compelling storylines and enduring characters. Currently, the always adventurous, Reva Shayne (played by three-time Emmy winner Kim Zimmer) and her soulmate, Josh Lewis (Robert Newman), are embarking on marriage for the third -- and hopefully, final -- time; Dr. Rick Bauer (Michael O'Leary), who suffers from a deteriorating heart condition, and former prince Richard Winslow (Bradley Cole), victim of a horrible car accident, fight for their lives; Beth Raines tries to rebuild her life by coming to terms with the past of her alternate personality, Lorelei Hills (both played by Beth Chamberlin); and the feisty Harley Cooper (Beth Ehlers) and the irksome Gus Aitoro (Ricky Paull Goldin) try to make a "go" of their new relationship despite the objections of everyone in town, including Harley's ex-husband, the wealthy Phillip Spaulding (Grant Aleksander).
On Guiding Light, audiences also got their very first look at many now-famous faces, such as Kevin Bacon, Tammy Blanchard (Me and My Shadows: The Judy Garland Story), Ruby Dee, Taye Diggs, Frances Fisher, Allison Janney, James Earl Jones, Melina Kanakaredes, Sherry Stringfield, Cicely Tyson, Cynthia Watros (Titus), Billy Dee Williams, JoBeth Williams, and Ian Ziering, to name a few.
Guiding Light is the only daytime program inducted into the Soap Opera Hall of Fame. The program has been the recipient of 55 Daytime Emmy Awards as well as numerous other industry accolades.
Guiding Light can be seen weekdays on the CBS Television Network. (Check local listings). A Procter & Gamble Production, the show is taped in New York City. Paul Rauch is the Executive Producer; Lucky Gold and Millee Taggart are the show's Headwriters. Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin is the Executive-in-Charge of Production for Procter & Gamble Productions.
Travis Schuldt (ex Ethan, PAS) Extends Special Invite
Travis Schuldt (soon-to-be ex Ethan, PAS) is focusing much of his energy on the longevity of the theater company of which he is a founding member -- the Lone Star Ensemble. They are having a benefit gathering on July 21, and Ethan asked us to extend the invitation to all of you to come and join him in garnering support for the Lone Star Ensemble.
The annual benefit for Travis' non-profit company, the Lone Star Ensemble, will taked place at Tangier, one of LA's top-rated night spots. "We'll have a raffle for prizes, FREE hors d'oeuvres (widely recognized among the best in L.A.), and music -- with drinks at happy-hour prices all night! " said the spokesperson for the Enemble.
$10 minimum donation at the door. Proceeds will be donated to the Lone Star Ensemble -- a non-profit educational arts organization dedicated to bringing a fresh, new, innovative approach to theatre for the benefit of the whole community. For more info, visit www.lonestarensemble.org
Guiding Light and Entertainment Tonight Jewelry 4
A.C. Chase announced last week that it is now offering for sale jewelry designed for and worn on Guiding Light and Entertainment Tonight. Each piece is handcrafted and identical to those worn by television celebrities. Limited quantities are available at reasonable prices at its web site, http://www.acchase.com/ .
Guiding Light, the longest running drama, is now in its 50th year on television. The program has received 54 Daytime Emmy Awards and numerous awards for its chic, stylish costume design. Entertainment Tonight is the world's #1 source for entertainment news, fashions and trends in Hollywood and around the world, and has been on the air for more than twenty years.
"Guiding Light and Entertainment Tonight were obvious choices for our opening," said Ann Stephens, A.C. Chase CEO. "Both are among the longest running television programs in the U.S., and have loyal viewers. We anticipate this will bring a larger audience to each program, while also creating a bond between the viewers and the shows. Moreover, I believe that people who come to our web site will be pleasantly surprised at the unique designs offered."
"A.C. Chase jewelry is unique because it works equally well with casual and formal outfits," said Shawn Dudley, costume designer at Guiding Light. "People have been asking me for years where to find this jewelry. Now we can send them to acchase.com, where they can get it quickly and easily. Now everyone can look like a star."
A.C. Chase expects to offer jewelry worn by stars in more than a dozen shows beginning with the fall television season.
And in yet more GL news...
Beginning July 8, 2002, Ellen Wheeler will begin work as a producer and director on Guiding Light. Most recently, Ellen, an Emmy award-winning actress, directed at As the World Turns.
Y&R Fans! Weekly's Got You Covered
Lots happening both in front of and behind the cameras at Y&R. In the July 9, 2002 issue of Soap Opera Weekly (on sale this week), find all about it. Like what two former characters will likely return to Genoa City before too long. Plus, the show is also casting two new characters. Find out who they are. Did you know that July is a Sweeps month? As part of Weekly's cover story, find out what fireworks are in store for your Genoa City favorites this July. Weekly named Y&R a Winner this week, and Y&R's Sharon a Loser. Find out why. Find out which of Victor's ex-wives was named as readers' favorite, and tell us whether Neil should be with Olivia or Serena. Speaking of Victor, in the midst of a walk down marital memory lane, he caught the attention of P.K. Waddle. Read the latest Critical Condition to find out what Waddle thought about the ghosts of Victor's past. Eavesdropping is never nice, but Kelly Kruger (Mac) has a unique way to do it. Find out what it is. Two former Y&R actors stepped out, as well as a current Genoa City resident. Find out what Gabrielle Winkel thought of their attire. Find out how the show will celebrate our nation's birthday. Eileen Davidson and Greg Vaughan (Ashley and Diego) have certain parts of their wardrobes that they can't live without. Find out what they are. "In the span of a few days, I got naked, sang the song Spooky, cooked food and acted." Which Y&R actor said that? Just because he's off of Y&R doesn't mean Scott Reeves (ex-Ryan McNeil) is staying out of the limelight. Find out where Scott popped up. Also this week, we run a complete Master List with the cast lists from all 10 daytime shows, as well as the usual storyline previews and event listings.
All My Children:Rochelle Oliver plays the recurring role of Alice Hart beginning Tuesday, July 9, 2002. Joe Morton has been temporarily cast in the role of Zeke McMillan. His first airdate is Monday, July 15, 2002. Also first airing on July 15 is Josie DeGuzman in the recurring role of a Nevada Hotel clerk.
As the World Turns: Tom Eplin's last airdate as Jake is Tuesday, July 2.
Newcomer Mark C. Collier joins the cast as Mike Kasnoff on Tuesday, July 2. This is Mark's first major television role. Ray Iannicelli plays a New York City bartender beginning Tuesday, July 2.
Days of our Lives:Alexis Thorpe and Eric Winter portray twins, who arrive in Salem in a most unusual way, on Wednesday, July 3rd. Eric and Alexis are on contract. Lisa Rinna returns as Billie Reed on Wednesday, July 3rd. Staci Greason returns Isabella on Monday and Tuesday, June 24th and 25th. Staci will be making numerous special appearances throughout the summer. On Tuesday, July 2nd, John Gabriel portrays Pete Legrand, the private investigator Craig and Nancy hire to locate Chloe's natural father.
Guiding Light:Stephanie Gatschet takes over the role of Tammy Winslow beginning on Friday, July 5. Jordan Gelber plays Herman, an exterminator, on Monday, July 1. Jeremy Webb plays a Spaulding servant on Monday, July 1. John Pasha plays a foreman on Wednesday, July 3. Brad Berson plays a secret service agent in Olivia's fantasy on Thursday, July 4. Howi Ravikoff plays a pizza deliveryman on Friday, July 5.
Passions: Eric Martsolf has been signed to the contract role of Ethan Winthrop. His first airdate as Ethan is July 8, 2002.
Days of Our Lives: On Saturday, July 6, Drake Hogestyn, Peter Reckell,Jason Cook, Matt Cedeno and Alison Sweeney will be appearing at an outdoor festival at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, Massachusetts (130 Sohier Street) at 7 PM. Tickets are $48.50 and $39.00. To purchase call 781-383-1400. On Sunday, July 7 , Drake Hogestyn, Peter Reckell, JasonCook, Matt Cedeno and Alison Sweeney will be appearing at an outdoor festival at the Cape Cod Melody Tour in Hyannis, Massachusetts (21 W. Main Street) at 3 PM Tckets are $48.50 and $39.00. To purchase call 508-775-9100. On Sunday, July 14th,Jason Cook and Kyle Lowder will be appearing at Canada's Wonderland Theme Park in Toronto as part of Joyce Becker's Soap Opera Festival. Show times are at 1 and 3 PM. For park information, please call 905/832-7000. ATTENTION ALLCANADIAN FANS: On Sunday, July 14, Jason Cook and Kyle Lowder appear at Canada's Wonderland Theme Park in Toronto as part of Joyce Becker's Soap Opera Festival. Show times are at 1 and 3 PM. For park information, call 905/832-7000. On Saturday, August 10th,Matt Cedeno and Jason Cook will be appearing at Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, CA (in the Napa Valley) in conjunction with Soap Opera Festivals. Appearance times are 1 and 3 PM. CRUISE WITH THE STARS: Set sail with the stars from Days and Passions for a Soap Opera Cruise Weekend aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship. Fans will depart from Los Angeles on Friday, October 25 and sail down to Baja and Ensenada, Mexico returning to Los Angeles on Monday, October 28. Actors scheduled to participate are Matt Ashford, Kyle Lowder, Kevin Spirtas, and Passions' stars. Fans aboard the ship will attend cocktail parties with the stars and take part in autograph sessions and interactive programs hosted by soap columnist Lynda Hirsch. Rates begin at $459.00 per person and can be booked by calling Landfall Travel at 1-800-835-9233 or by logging on to www.landfalltravel.com
Passions: Rodney Van Johnson (TC) will be participating in the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation's "Reaching for the Cure" 5K (1K for kids) Walk-A-Thon at the Irvine Spectrum on Sunday, July 14 from 7am-11am. This year marks the 20th Anniversary for the Irvine, CA based foundation. Since 1982, PCRF has raised more than 10 million dollars for pediatric cancer research. Each school day, enough children are diagnosed with cancer to fill two classrooms. Join Rodney in raising money for this most valuable cause. For more information, call (949) 376-8404 or visit www.PCRF-kids.com . 3rd Annual Passions Fan Club Event will be held on Saturday, July 20th Noon at the Globe Theatre, Universal Studios, Hollywood. Confirmed attendance: Dana Sparks (Grace), James Hyde (Sam), Ryan McPartlin (Hank), Lindsay Korman (Theresa), Justin Caroll (David), Christopher Douglas (Brian), Josh Ryan Evans (Timmy), Galen Gering (Luis), Jack Krizmanich (John), Amelia Marshall (Liz), Jesse Metcalfe (Miguel), Kim Johnston Ulrich (Ivy), McKenzie Westmore (Sheridan), Deanna Wright (Kay) and Natalie Zea (Gwen), Jade Harlow (Jessica), Mich