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Home Features Top of the Week Soap Stars on Summerland

Soap Stars on Summerland

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Ex soap stars invade Summerland & Where are they now

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Dear Suds Buds, 

I really do try to watch as much TV as possible -- both daytime and primetime.  After all, it’s my business.  So, last night, I happened to catch a special episode of the new WB primetime soap called Summerland.  The show stars not one, not two, but three former soap celebs.  The brain child of Lori Loughlin, most notably known for her role as Rebecca on Full House, she is also one of Summerland's creators and producers.  But did you know that one of Loughlin's earliest roles was as the character of Jody on The Edge of Night?  Loughlin played Jody for three years, from 1980-1983.

Here’s the Inside the Bubble scoop on Summerland.  The original pilot was shot last year. It did NOT get picked up for the Fall 2003-2004 season, nor did it get a mid-season pick up.  But the producers believed in the project and the star power of its leading lady, so they decided to re-tool and start again, almost from scratch. 

Earlier this year, after re-working the project, tweaking here and there, perhaps even recasting, they shot what is called a “presentation.”  A presentation is not quite pilot, and it’s longer than a few scenes.   No sooner was the presentation produced; the show got picked up by The WB as a summertime series -- which makes perfect sense for a show called Summerland! 

Along with Lori Loughlin, Shawn Christian (ex Mike Kasnov, ATWT), and Jesse McCartney (ex JR Chandler, AMC) also star.  Christian plays Loughlin’s former love interest and current best friend.  McCartney plays the oldest of three children, Loughlin’s niece and two nephews, who were orphaned when their parents died in a car accident.

The show is a bit trite, in my humble opinion, and totally unrealistic in that these three kids move to California to live with Loughlin in the beach house she shares with three other adults, Shawn Christian being one of her house mates.  Interestingly, all three friends welcome -- with open arms  -- not only the kids, but the responsibility of raising them in this dysfunctional family situation.  However, if you allow yourself to buy into that rather implausible premise, the show possesses some promise as the younger kids experience their growing pains, with the adults now being forced to grow up themselves in order to parent the kids.  Plus, it’s summer at the beach and that means tanned, buffed chests, and skimpy bikinis – a formula that’s been known to work in the past. Can you say Baywatch?  (The brain child of another former soaper, David Hasselholf, ex Snapper, Y&R).

But I must admit, it was great seeing that Shawn Christian, pictured at right, has landed a prime time series. Since leaving ATWT, he has recurred on a number of prime time shows including Crossing Jordan, Becker, Charmed, Beverly Hills 90210, Pacific Palisades and Birds of Prey.  He also did a short stint on One Life to Live as Ross. Soapdom met up with Christian a few years back. See the Where Are They Now Files for his story at that time.  He was our first featured "Where Are They Now" star!

Along with his acting endeavors, Jesse McCartney is quite an accomplished musician with his band Dream Street. He played Adam Chandler, JR on All My Children from 1998 to 2001. The fourth actor to play the role, which is currently played by Jacob Young, McCartney garnered two Daytime Emmy nominations, and won a Young Artist award, among other accolades.  He recently recorded a new song for Warner Brothers Pictures, "A Cinderella Story," starring Hilary Duff. The song is called "The Best Day of My Life." The soundtrack will also feature several new Hilary Duff songs. The movie is expected to be released July 16th and the soundtrack is scheduled for a July 13th release.  To hear Jesse's music and for more on Jesse McCartney visit http://www.jessemccartney.com/

For more on McCartney, Shawn Christian, Lori Loughlin and Summerland visit http://www.thewb.com/Shows/Show/0,7353,162344,00.html

Til the top of next week,

Linda Marshall-Smith
CEO, Soapdom, Inc.

What do YOU think?  Share your thoughts in the "Criticize the Critic" forum  on the Soapdom.com Message Boards

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