The Year in Soaps

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Soaps go cyber, Controversy and More intrigue from last year

We at TRO wish you everything you wish for yourselves in 2001. Many blessings, all.

Another year has passed and a new one is beginning. I can remember commenting in late 1999 about the dearth of dotcoms encroaching upon our lives. Everywhere we looked there were billboards, tv ads, magazine articles toting the praises of the internet, and how far behind the world of soaps seemed to be, touching only on the tip of the iceberg when it came to the potential of cyber storylines. (See Top of the Week, December 14, 1999) It is interesting to note, this year or so later, that many of the much hyped dotcoms have come and gone --,, and others, but soapdom it seems, took my advice and jumped on the bandwagon telling frontburner stories that deal with the internet. Immediately coming to mind are All My Children's, and Passions characters finding tales of woe for Harmony on the web. Did your favorite show incorporate a cyber story? In your opinion, did TPTB utilize the internet as a storytelling device to its fullest potential, or is there more to explore? Share your thoughts on the Turtle Run Message Boards.

2000 was an interesting year in soaps. Some storylines were downright exciting like Passions' Sheridan and Luis. (TRO's CYBBY voters voted Sheridan and Luis the greatest supercouple of all time!) Others dragged on before they paid off like DOOL's virtual Eden. Some got our dander up by taking characters out of character. (Marlena on DOOL. Tad on AMC.) Others showed how favorite, yet rather controlled actors, can be handed a dual role and become a completely different character right before our eyes (and much to our delight). (ATWT's Lily/Rose.) A few tackled controversial topics like lesbianism (Bianca, AMC) and right-to-die issues (Claire, PC). We had Sheridan buried alive, Lily falling for an illegal alien, Brandon finding true love in Sami, Tad cheating on Dixie yet again, while Dixie's eyes were wandering, too! Phillip and Harley reconciled Nikki and Victor got back together yet again, and Thorne was torn between Kimberly and Brooke. Rae discovered the true identity of her long-lost child, Lucky returned, then Sonny was shot. Cyber campaigns helped bring much loved characters back to favorite shows, NBC piggybacked on ABC's SuperSoap Weekend with it's first annual FanFest, and Port Charles introduced its new 12-week storytelling format.

What stands out for me as a major "plotpoint" of 2000, was Mimi Torchin, Editor-in-Chief of Soap Opera Weekly for almost 11 years, being asked to leave the magazine. I remember first hearing the news when a colleague phoned to express her surprise and disappointment at the shake up. It came as quite a shock, as Mimi is well respected in the industry. She is the consummate professional, a journalist with integrity, and someone to be admired. As news of her dismissal traveled, TRO received many letters expressing sadness at the loss of getting their weekly soap dose from one of the genre's premiere commentators. In communicating with Mimi several weeks later, she was touched to hear that Turtle Run's visitors thought highly of her and would miss her. She told me that she was doing well, was revived by the numerous letters and calls she'd received since her dismissal, and was planning on spending some time in her much beloved homestead in Martha's Vineyard. She thanks everyone for their good wishes and concern.

Mimi Torchin will always hold a very special place in my heart as she was the first editor of a consumer publication to buy and publish a story from me. Look for an article on Mimi and the dismissal that shook soapdom in the February issue of Brill's Content Magazine (, a publication that covers the industry of journalism. Jim Edwards, Sr. Writer for Brill's and author of the article on Mimi, even reached me for comment. Unfortunately, he told me subsequently that I am not quoted per se in the piece. The February issue of Brill's Content is on newsstands now. As far as the future of Soap Opera Weekly, the staff is optimistic and looks forward to the change with open minds.


Eddie Velez (Detective Garcia on Port Charles) is in the new feature film Traffic, starring Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Don Cheadle, Benjamin Bratt and Benicio Del Toro. The film was released in New York and Los Angeles on December 27, 2000, but is scheduled for wide release as of January 12, 2001. Traffic reunites Velez with Del Toro as they also worked together in Drug Wars: The Camarena Story. In Drug Wars, however, both actors played characters that were on the wrong side of the law. In Traffic they are both Drug Enforcement Agents.

In the Spirit of the Holiday Season

The cast and crew of Port Charles and General Hospital have combined efforts this holiday season for five acres, a center for child abuse prevention, treatment and education. Thanks to the generosity of the cast and crew, fifty children will receive gifts from their holiday wish lists. The donation took place on Thursday, December 21, 2000 at 12:30 PM on the KABC-TV studio lot. Erin Hersey and Marie Wilson spearheaded this year's effort. In addition, the Port Charles writing team has joined together to support a family of eight in South Central Los Angeles this Christmas. Chosen through "Adopt-A-Family-For-Christmas," the writers each donated monies as well as time in order to shop and wrap all the gifts.

AMC Fans Take Home the Magic of the Crystal Ball

For the second consecutive year, ABC Daytime is lighting up the holiday season by offering fans of All My Children the official Crystal Ball keepsake, a crystal votive and decorative candle with a logo commemorating the fourth annual Crystal Ball. On AMC, the Crystal Ball has become an annual holiday event, attended by Pine Valley's most illustrious residents. This year, Edmund's renowned ball will be hosted by Ryan and Gillian. Guests of the ball will receive the crystal votive candle to light as a symbol of hope for the safe return of the missing Alexandra Marick, and to remember loved ones, including Edmund's late wife, Maria. The keepsakes will be featured in special episodes of All My Children airing January 2-3, 2001. The keepsake went "on sale" exclusively at on December 21, 2000, and will remain available for purchase until February 2, 2001. It costs $19.99. There is also a candle refill pack for $9.99.


All My Children: George Guidall has been cast in the role of Judge Mayhew. His first airdate is Tuesday, January 2, 2001. Mark Pinter has been cast in the role of Greenlee's dad, "Roger Smythe." Pinter starred on Another World where he played Grant Harrison since 1991. Pinter first airs in the 8000th episode of AMC on Tuesday, January 9, 2001.

Days of Our Lives: Matt Ashford will reprise the role of Jack Deveraux for several appearances beginning in early February. The role is non-contract.

General Hospital: Lily Melgar returns as Lily Corinthos for two episodes on January 2, 3, 2001. Steve Burton returns as Jason Morgan beginning January 29, 2000.

One Life to Live: Jessica Morris has been cast in the contract role of Jennifer Rappaport, Lindsay (Catherine Hickland) and Sam's (Kale Brown) rebellious daughter. Her first airdate is Wednesday, January 17, 2001. Rebecca Boyd has been cast in the contract role of Gina Russo. Boyd's television credits include Spin City, Dellaventura, and a recurring role on Homicide. She has also appeared in films such as Return to Paradise and Scenes from a Mall. Her first airdate is Thursday, January 18, 2001.

Passions: Philip Moon has been cast as a television reporter and will air on Wednesday, January 3, 2001. Alicia Ziegler has been cast as Carol and airs on Monday, January 15, 2001. Ziegler is the winner of last year's Internet Casting Call in the female category.

Port Charles: Opal Anchel is joining the cast as Arianna. Her first airdate is January 2, 2001. Chaz Burke has been cast in the role of a precinct cop. He airs on Wednesday, January 10, 2000. Chris Maleki has been cast in the role of Ben, Arianna's (newcomer Opal Anchel) brother. His first airdate is Friday, January 12, 2001. Ted W. Henning has been cast in the role of Darryl Gordon, a real estate agent. He airs on Friday, January 19, 2001.

Seeing Stars

Days of Our Lives: Diedre Hall's Intimate Portrait airs on the Lifetime Television Network on Monday, January 8, 2001 at 7:00 PM. Check your local listings for a schedule of re-broadcasts. Patrika Darbo has been named Chairperson for the Heart Association Walk and on Sunday, February 11, 2001, Patrika takes part in the 16th Annual Heart Run & Walk in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, benefiting the American Heart Association. Participants can choose from a 5K run, a 5K Fun Walk, a 10K Run and a 1K Kids Walk. For information call the American Heart Association at 310 277-2171. Days Fans -- Keep this Date! June 2, 2001. The fan club event of the Millennium. An entirely new format with lots of surprises. Fun for the whole family. This action-packed weekend will go down in Days history. More details to come!!

One Life to Live: Kassie DePaiva (Blair) will be singing at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in Perryville, New Jersey on Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14, 2001. The show will also feature the Tim Gillis Band. Call 800 447-7317 for further info.

Passions: Bruce French (Father Lonigan) can be seen now, through the end of January, 2001 in Lady Chatterly's Lover at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice, CA. For times and ticket info call 310 822-8392. Bruce Michael Hall (Reese) stars in an episode of David E. Kelley'sBoston Public in the role of Jimmy. It is currently scheduled to air sometime in January, 2001. When we receive a confirmed date, we will pass it on to you. Luis fans, be sure to pick up a copy of the January 2001 issue of Cowboys and Indians Magazine. Galen Gering is featured in a celebrity layout, and ladies gentlemen, let me tell you. It's hot!! ;o)

Bubbles Busted?

Snail mail TPTB!

All My Children: Audience Information, ABC TV, 77 W. 66th St, NY, NY 10023
As the World Turns: CBS TV, 51 W. 52nd St, NY, NY 10019
Bold & the Beautiful: CBS TV, 7800 Beverly Blvd, LA, CA 90036
Days of Our Lives: NBC TV, 3000 W. Alameda Ave, Burbank, CA 91523
General Hospital: ABC TV, 4151 Prospect Ave, Hollywood, CA 90027
Guiding Light: CBS TV, 51 W 52nd St, NY, NY 10019
One Life to Live: ABC TV, Audience Information, 77 W. 66th St, NY, NY 10023
Passions; CBS Radford Studios, 4024 Radford Ave, Studio City, CA 91604
Port Charles: ABC TV, 4151 Prospect Ave, Hollywood, CA 90027
Young & the Restless: CBS TV, 7800 Beverly Blvd, LA, CA 90036

For those who are disappointed that NBC cancelled Titans, send snail mail to:
Mr. Scott Sassa, President, NBC West Coast, 3000 W. Alameda Avenue, Burbank, CA 91523