Monday, June 16, 2008


Ellen Wheeler knows a thing or two about reinvention and survival. In the 1980s, the Emmy-winning actress portrayed twins Marley and Vicky Love Hudson on the soap opera "Another World." She moved to "All My Children" as one of the first characters on TV with AIDS. In the late 1990s, she reprised her role as Marley Hudson on "Another World."

Because she didn't resemble her on-camera twin, the writers decided that Wheeler's Marley would be crushed in a car wreck and then, while recovering, burned and disfigured in a horrible hospital fire.

Wheeler is still blazing soap opera trails.

Now working behind the camera, the 46-year-old executive producer of "Guiding Light" early this year ditched the format used since the 1950s to produce soaps: three large pedestal cameras to shoot scenes in a handful of studio sets. As part of her gutsy gambit, "Guiding Light" crews now use hand-held digital cameras to rove the three dozen small sets constructed within the hulking CBS Broadcast Center in Manhattan and outdoors in nearby Peapack, N.J.

Wheeler is trying to create a more modern look to attract younger viewers -- and keep the show alive.

Read the entire profile, here.

(Wheeler is pictured above directing Michael O'Leary (Rick) and Beth Chamberlin (Beth) - left, and Murray Bartlett (Cyrus) and Beth Ehlers (Harley) - right)


Mo said...

Yes, but how is Wheeler going to replace the wildly popular Ehlers?
Is Harley going to get crushed by a car and then caught in a hospital fire, too?

Anonymous said...

I can't decide who is more delusional: Ellen Wheeler or the idiots who have the gall to describe her as gutsy or revolutionary. The woman is an incompetent hack and will easily go down as the worst producer in daytime history. Certainly the most destructive.

In four short years(that have felt like forty), she has taken the longest running show in the history of television and almost singlehandedly destroyed it and all of it's characters and families beyond repair because she was too inexperienced for the job but also far too arrogant to listen to the advice of her employees and customers who know this show a hell of a lot better than she does.

As for the new format, it has nothing to do with being gutsy, revolutionary, visionary, or whatever excuse they want to proclaim. The new format was mandated because it was supposed to be dirt cheap. And GL now has to be produced for a farthing because Wheeler's "vision" has caused ratings, and thus advertising revenues, to fall so far that the budget has now gotten cut so deeply that they don't appear capable of producing a TV show fit for airing on national television anymore. Rather than admit defeat and either fire Wheeler and try to get the ratings up or just cancel the show altogether, it was decided that they would, instead, produce a pathetic laughingstock of a show that would receive a D- from any 10th grade media class teacher worth their salt.

Let us please remember that the budget has only gotten slashed as deeply as it has BECAUSE of Wheeler and her rampaging incompetence which has alienated the vast majority of GL's core, and once, extremely loyal audience.

She began chipping away at the core audience of this show when she let Peter Simon get away. She lost an enormous amount of the fanbase when she fired Grant Aleksander and thoroughly butchered the entire Spaulding family merely to pimp Gus and Harley, who are no longer even on the show thanks to her mismanagement. She pushed Jerry VerDorn and Maureen Garrett out the door with nothing but minimally talented newbies that nobody cared about to take up all the airtime. Now Ehlers and Goldin are gone likely to be followed by Zimmer. Who's gonna be left by Christmas? The once wonderful but now totally butchered and destroyed Cyrus and his ugly murderous scumbag of a brother G, Ava, and some crappy recast Harley? thanks.

As horrible as the show's laughable production values are, the writing is it's real problem and it is nothing short of pitiful and that falls on her head as well. She hired Kreizman personally and has stood by him ever since even though it was obvious from very early on that he was in way over his head. She is making the bulk of the creative decisions anyway and she was the main scab writer during the strike.

GL's rotting corpse might limp along on life support for another year or two or until CBS can find a cost effective replacement but The Real Guiding Light is dead and has been for a while. While there were alot of people who set her on the road to her destruction, it was Wheeler who finished her off by smothering her with a pillow and drove the hearse to the funeral home.

mysticgal said...

There is no need to replace Harley. As Marina said, she is a man stealing skank box and a ruined character that ate up to much screen time for the last four years. Stay away Harley. Don't ever come back.

Oakdalian said...

Rosevioletdaisy, I'd give you flowers if there weren't so many in your name already!

supersage21 said...

I could say so much, but as usual, Rose already did it for me.

Billie said...

I say they recast Harley for one day and then have her crushed by a car that's on fire.

I agree mysticgal. Harley can stay gone. The ratings were already in the toilet when she and RPG were on the payroll.

I don't see how filming home movie quality scenes outside on playgrounds and park benches is gutsy or revolutionary but whatever.

I do know it would be fantastic if the stories made sense and everything didn't happen off screen.