TRO's message boards and email box have been buzzing with rumors that both Bob Guza, headwriter, General Hospital ,and Agnes Nixon, Creator, headwriter, All My Children, have, or will be, parting ways with their respective shows. Stories in this regard have appeared in the New York press, TV Guide and other soap opera publications. When contacted on Friday, September 29, 2000 for confirmation, spokespersons for both General Hospital and All My Children offered the same response: "We have no comment at this time."
The season premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired on Tuesday, September 26, 2000, where Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar, ex Kendall, AMC) met her most formidable foe, the one, the only Count Dracula, played by guest star, Rudolph Martin. Martin previously starred with Gellar on All My Children several years ago playing the role of Anton, Dimitri's long-lost Hungarian son. It was fun to see them back together again. I must admit that Martin's performance as Dracula was quite intriguing. He has grown as an actor since his days in Pine Valley, IMHO, and was quite the charming, yet dastardly demon! In the episode, Buffy, la crme de la crme of our modern-day vampire slayers, actually succeeded in dispensing with the undeadly Count once and for all. However, I have a feeling that Dracula will be back in Sunnydale very soon. One round with Buffy does not a dead "king of the undead" make! We will have to wait and see.
For any of you who are Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans and watched the season premiere last week, you may have spotted another All My Children alumni in the previews. This year Buffy's younger sister will be featured as a character on the show and will be played by the actress who used to play Jackson Montgomery's adopted, autistic daughter on AMC. I give Ms. Gellar and her producers two Purple Turtle Tails up for hiring her former co-stars from the world of daytime!
Once again there is so much soap news to share with you. So, without further ado.
Bruce Michael Hall (Reese, Passions), in his role as National Spokesperson for ACES, the Association for Children for Enforcement of Support, is passionate about a lot more in life than life in Harmony. On Tuesday, September 26, 2000 he appeared before the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. to ask Senators to support Bill S2288 which would allow the IRS to aggressively pursue child support on a federal level and assist in getting the funds to the children who deserve it. This is an issue very close to Bruce's heart. Here are his remarks to Congress:
Testimony of Bruce Michael Hall Before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee
"Good morning. I am Bruce Michael Hall. I play Reese Durkee on NBC's daytime soap opera, Passions. I'm here today to join with ACES, Association for Children for Enforcement of Support, Inc. to ask for your support for Senate Bill 2288. This bill would make it easier for families who are owed child support to collect payments, because it would move the enforcement of child support from the states to the IRS. I know how important it is for children to receive child support. It can make all the difference in the world. I stand before you today as living proof of that fact.
"You see, when I was a child my parents divorced. My identical twin brother and I were raised in a single parent home. But I was a very lucky child. My mom worked as a social worker. My dad, realizing that there were two of us to raise, went into court and had the child support payment order doubled! He never missed a payment, he participated in the lives of my brother and I, and he helped out when it came time for us to go to college.
"I had some friends who were not so lucky. My best friend when I was growing up was a child of a single parent household who did not receive any child support. He was always hungry. My mom always made sure we had food available for him. She would make a big pot of chili or cook a bunch of hot dogs, and he would eat and eat and you could tell he hadn't eaten in a long time. In spite of it all, I am happy to say he is doing well today.
"I had some other friends who did not do so well. There were four brothers that I played football with in high school. When their parents split up, and their mom stopped getting support, she had to work extra jobs. She was a very nice lady, but she had to work all the time so the kids grew up without having either parent around. Today, three of those kids are in prison. One for murdering someone. One of the brothers was in honors classes in high school. After his family stopped getting support, he dropped out of school and started dealing drugs to get money. Now he is in prison. Only one child from that family went to junior college. I think that if this family had just received some child support, then the mom would not have had to work so much and the boys would have had some guidance. They would have had a better chance to have a good life.
"When I hear about the 20 million kids in the US that are owed over $71 billion in unpaid support, I get very sad. I try to imagine how different my life could have been if my dad didn't care and didn't pay child support. I think about what it would have been like if my mom had to deal with an ineffective child support collection system and we did not collect support for years. I never would have gone to college. I wouldn't be strong, healthy and happy. My brother wouldn't be in medical school. I think about all the things I had that those other kids don't get, and I feel both extremely blessed, and also angry because there are people out there who don't care about their children.
"On Passions I play a teenager who has a good life, good grades and good friends. I want all the kids in America to have the chances I, and my character, have. I want all the kids in America to have food -- nutritious food and not boxed macaroni and cheese for dinner, or cereal with water instead of milk for breakfast. I want them to eat everyday, and not have to skip days, or only eat meals regularly when they are in school and can get school lunches. I want them to have the clothes they need - jackets and mittens when they are cold and shoes that fit. I want them to have the opportunities that I had - to play sports and be in a band. To go on field trips with their classes and to live in neighborhoods that are safe.
"We need to make sure that families get child support payments regularly and on time. America needs to be collecting child support from most noncustodial parents rather than continuing to support a system which allows 63% to get away with not supporting their children.
"I decided that I would take time from my television commitment to travel here to speak to you about this issue. I believe that if child support were collected like taxes, then we would not have so many children living in poverty. The IRS collects taxes from about 83% of all Americans. That record is far better than the collection rate that has been established by the child support agencies. Most Americans expect to pay taxes. Many parents do not ever expect to be required to pay child support. Why? Because most Americans know that the IRS will aggressively pursue tax debts and many parents know that the child support agencies will passively pursue child support. It is time for this trend to end, and time for our society to make children as important as taxes.
"I have joined ACES efforts today, and I have pledged to help in this effort to assure that children receive the support they so desperately need. My allegiance to this cause did not start today and will not stop tomorrow. I will speak out publicly on this issue. I have pledged to support this cause financially, and I will not rest until America's children are given the consideration and support that they deserve. I ask you to help also. I ask you to support Senate Bill 2288. Thank you."
Wow. What a speech. What a wonderful cause for Bruce Michael Hall to get behind. If you have any personal stories to share about the issue of child support, or would like to show support for Bruce in his efforts to raise awareness of this issue, please do so on the Turtle Run Message Boards in the Hot Topics folder. We will forward your comments to Bruce!
Breathe Video premiers on Passions
On Thursday, September 28, 2000, NBC Records released Breathe, its first online multimedia CD single from singer/songwriter, Jane French. Breathe, as I am sure you already know, is the Emmy-nominated theme song to Passions. A full-length video of the song, starring French, was available for viewing at the Passions website on the day the video premiered. "The fans have been asking where to get the song and about the artist, and NBC Records is proud to finally make the song available and introduce Jane French," said Kim Miemi , VP, Business Development/Music, NBC Enterprises. Besides the single, Jane French's official website will also keep fans up to date on her activities, using such online devices as a dairy, music bites, and photographs. French is currently writing and recording new material for an album release expected early next year. On Tuesday, October 3, 2000 from 9-10 PM ET, French will chat live online with McKenzie Westmore (Sheridan) at http://www.NBCi.com/passions. They will be talking about French's new song, Imagine, featured on Passions as Luis and Sheridan's love theme! "Jane French is an extraordinary talent that viewers of Passions have come to know through her beautiful rendition of the show's theme song, Breathe. We're thrilled to bring Jane's fans the first look at her new video," said Sheraton Kalouria, Sr. VP, NBC Daytime programs. In addition, Jane recently completed the song The First Noel for the upcoming NBC Celebrity Christmas multimedia CD, which will go on sale exclusively at Wal-Mart beginning November 1, 2000. Jane joins NBC celebrities such as Emmy Award winners Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Jay Leno (The Tonight Show) and John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun) on a holiday compilation that will benefit The Children's Miracle Network. French, the dynamic voice of Breathe, co-wrote the song with Passions' composer, John Henry. To order the CD single of Breathe, call 888 500-7776.
Dana Sparks (Grace, Passions) has been asked by America's Breast Cancer ride, which takes place cross-country the month of October 2000, to be one of their national spokespersons. Sparks will be participating at the concluding ceremonies of this national ride to fight breast cancer on October 29, 2000 in San Diego, CA.
Congratulations to Josh Ryan Evans (Timmy, Passions) on his nomination in the category of Best Young Actor in a Daytime Television Program for the Hollywood Reporter's YoungStars Awards. The YoungStar Awards, the only ceremony that exclusively recognizes 6-18 year olds for outstanding work in film, television, music and stage, will be presented in 15 categories during a presentation November 19, 2000 at the Wilshire Theater in Beverly Hills, CA. Part of the proceeds from the event will benefit Starlight Chiildren's Foundation. Congratulations also go out to Mary Elizabeth Winstead who also received a nomination in the category of Best Young Actress in a Daytime Television Program for her former portrayal of Jessica Bennett on Passions.
Melissa Reeves Returns to Days of Our Lives
After a five year absence, Melissa Reeves triumphantly returns to NBC's Days of our Lives and her role of Jennifer Horton. Reeves originally joined Days of our Lives in September of 1985 and earned four Soap Opera Awards for her portrayal of Jennifer.
"I'm thrilled that Melissa Reeves is back on Days of our Lives where she belongs," exuberantly states Ken Corday. "Tom Langan's stories for her will be very exciting, mysterious and romantic."
After vacating her role on NBC's number one daytime drama, Melissa put acting aside to concentrate on raising her family, which then included husband, actor Scott Reeves, and their daughter, Emily. In 1997, Melissa gave birth to a son, Larry.
In 1999, Melissa returned to television and starred alongside husband Scott in the made for television film Half a Dozen Babies, which told the real story of the Dilley family and their six little blessings.
Melissa is ecstatic to be returning to Days of our Lives: "My children are older now. Larry is three years old and Emily is eight years old and right now just seems like the perfect time to return to work. There was never even a question where I would work, once I was ready. It was always going to be back at Days. I grew up here and it's like coming home."
Melissa Reeves' first airdate is scheduled for Friday, October 13, 2000.
More CastingDays of Our Lives: Jerry Penacoli is back as Miles Malloy on Wednesday, October 4, 2000. Robert Madison continues as the Italian waiter on Thursday, October 5, 2000.
One Life to Live: Robert Clohessy plays the recurring role of Colin's lawyer. His first airdate is Thursday, October 6, 2000. John Doman plays the recurring role of Mr. Rourke, the mob boss from whom Kevin tries to gain information about the Crossroads shooting. His first airdate is Friday, October 6, 2000.
Passions: Jay Leno stars as himself on Friday, October 13, 2000! Thor Edgell has been cast as Michael, the Angel of Goodness. His airdates are Thursday and Friday, October 18-19, 2000.
Port Charles: Irene Lopez, who appeared in Erin Brokovich, has been cast as Lupe, a suspicious neighbor of Mr. Green's who meets up with Ian and Eve on Monday, October 2, 2000. Jan Devereaux has been cast as Mrs. Warren, a distraught patient who bombards Dr. Boardman with questions about his resident's HIV status. Brian Morton, an anchorman from ABC affiliate KDRV-TV in Medford, tackles the role of a reporter on Thursday, October 5, 2000. He interacts with a mysterious informant. Brian Presley has been cast in the role of Jack. His first airdate is October 6, 2000. Jason Faunt has been cast as Kane, a young man playing craps with Jack in the Recovery Room alley. His first airdate is Wednesday, October 11, 2000.
Seeing StarsGot a hankering to see your favorite soap stars! Well, get going!
Head to Orlando, Florida on November 11 & 12, 2000 for ABC's Super Soap Weekend at Disneyworld, and NBC's Fan Fest at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. For a complete list of ABC stars attending Super Soap Weekend 5 see Top of the Week for September 11, 2000. For information call the Super Soap Hotline at 407-397-6808 and ask about the special Super Soap Weekend package. For a complete list of stars attending NBC's FanFest see Top of the Week for September 18, 2000. To book accommodations and/or further information call 877 912-3838.
General Hospital: Coltin Scott (Nikolas) and Michael Saucedo (Juan) will be at Planet Hollywood in San Francisco on Saturday, October 14, 2000 from 3-3 PM. Call 415 421-7828 for information. Then, on Sunday, October 15, 2000 Scott and Saucedo will appear at the Planet Hollywood in Reno, NV from 3-5 PM. Call 775 323-7837 for information.
Days of Our Lives: Jim Reynolds (Abe) and Bryan Datillo (Lucas) go to Rhine, GA on Saturday, October 14, 2000 to help raise funds to restore the town's high school basketball gym. Call 912 385-5521 for information and ticket sales. Drake Hogestyn (John) signs autographs at the Farm Fresh Extravaganza in Hampton, Virginia from 1-4 PM on Sunday, October 15, 2000. Call 757 369-6179 for info. Kevin Spirtas (Craig) will sing the National Anthem for the Phoenix Suns at Portland Trailblazers game at the America West Arena, located at 201 East Jefferson in Phoenix, AZ on Thursday, November 2, 2000. Tickets for the game can be purchased through ticketmaster.com Matt Cedeno (Brandon) and Bryan Datillo (Lucas) appear at Chip-In's Island Resort in Harris, MI on November 18, 2000 at 7 PM and 10 PM, and on November 19, 2000 at 2 PM. Each appearance will last one hour. On Saturday and Sunday November 25 and 26, 2000, Matt Cedeno will appear at Sam's Town Hotel in Las Vegas at 2 PM both days.
Louisiana Days of Our Lives fans! Make a date to ring in the New Year with Kevin Spirtas (Craig). On New Years Eve, 2000 at the Central School Arts & Humanities Center Auditorium in Lake Charles, LA from 10:00 PM - 1:30 AM, Kevin will pay tribute to Broadway musicals and share his unique stories of how the Broadway stage influenced his life. Mail your ticket request to: Kevin Spirtas c/o New Year's Eve with Kevin Spirtas, 8033 Sunset Blvd., Suite 637, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Single tickets: $85.00. Two or more, $75.00 each. All orders MUST be placed by December 15, 2000. Make checks payable to Kevin Spirtas.
Days of Our Lives and Passions autographed photos and scripts, visits to both sound stages, and lunch with Patrika Darbo (Nancy, DOOL) and Kevin Spirtas (Craig, DOOL) will be auctioned off on eBay from October 14-23, 2000. All funds benefit the Doberman Rescue of LA. The eBay code is "dobiedogs."
Passions: Mckenzie Westmore will be presenting the award for the Student Film Competition at the Laguna Film Festival on Saturday, October 7, 2000. For info visit http://www.lagunafilmfestival.org. Bruce Michael Hall (Reese) will be the official spokes person, along with special guest, VP Al Gore, at ACES, Association for Children for Enforcement of Support on Monday, October 16, 2000 at a Candle Light Vigil in Inglewood, CA at 7 PM. For information call 916 448-2004 or visit the website at http://www.childsupport-ACES.org. Josh Ryan Evans (Timmy) will sign autographs at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times on Sunday, October 29, 2000 at Universal Studios Backlot from 12-4 PM. Josh Ryan Evans, Galen Gering (Luis) and Juliet Mills (Tabitha) will guest star on Hollywood Squares the week of October 16-20, 2000. Check your local listings. Donn Swaby (Chad) is making his directorial debut in Los Angeles with Sam Shepard's Fool for Love. The play stars fellow Passions castmates, Lindsay Korman (Theresa) and Travis Schuldt (Ethan) and opens Saturday, September 30, 2000 at the Little Victory Theater in Burbank, CA. Performances are weekends only until October 15, 2000. Ticket prices are $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door. For information call 818 841-5421.
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