Thursday, November 27, 2008


A few photo spoilers to say thanks for watching!

As The World Turns will not air on Thursday, November 27 or Friday, November 28.

See you on Monday!

A few photo spoilers to say thanks for watching!

Guiding Light will not air on Thursday, November 27 or Friday, November 28.

See you on Monday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Laurence Lau will star in Breaking Legs from January 9 until February 1 at the Riverside Theatre, located at 3250 Riverside Park, Vero Beach, FL. Tickets and info here.

Rick and Mel's little girl continues to grow by leaps and bounds!

Tyra Colar takes over the role of Guiding Light's Leah Bauer on Monday, December 1. The actress previously had a small part as Jen on GL in 2007, and as Lenore on OLTL.

Watch her on the show, then befriend her on Facebook! (Wonder what great-grandma Bert would have thought of all this new technology...)

As every entertainment publication with an internet connection trumpets the news Carson Daly To Be a Dad!, they seem equally stumped as to the identity of the mom.

Right Celebrity laments: I couldn’t find much on Siri Pinter. She’s Dutch, and is currently a writer’s assistant for Last Call with Carson Daly. Prior to holding that position with the show, she was an executive producer’s assistant. She has also worked behind the scenes as an assistant with various TV projects, including Nobody’s Watching, Committed, and Frasier. She appears to have previously had her own blog at, but it has since been removed.

Obviously, the writer got the bulk of his information from this (in my opinion rather tongue in cheek) interview with Siri.

But if the name sounds familiar to soap fans, it's because Siri is the daughter of soap vet Mark Pinter (ex-Brian; ATWT and ex-Grant; Another World, to name just a few of his credits) and the stepdaughter of ATWT vet Colleen Zenk Pinter (Barbara).

Siri is listed as a friend on her stepmother's Facebook page (along with Grayson McCouch; Dusty and other ATWT cast and crew).

PGP Classic Soaps Blog sends their congratulations to the impending family, and lightly mocks the mainstream media for having such a tough time learning more about her.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It's a girl!

Paul sees a sonogram picture and he's already thinking about the future with his wife and daughter-to-be.

Of course, this --

Ultimately happening depends greatly on the outcome from this --

Watch all the drama unfold, only next week, only on As The World Turns.

Emmy-nominated Jeff Branson joins the cast of Guiding Light next week as Reva and Josh's globe-trotting son.

First comes the reunion with mom and dad.

Then with former love Marina.

And then...

All hell breaks loose.

You can't miss a moment!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Montel Williams (Clayton Boudreau) returns to "Guiding Light" this week when the Boudreau clan celebrates Thanksgiving with a family get-together, producing several uncomfortable moments for the youngest Boudreau, Remy (Lawrence Saint-Victor).

"At this dinner, you get to see what it is like for the black sheep to be around all these people," Saint-Victor explains. "You've seen him with his mom, you've seen him with his dad, but you haven't seen him with everybody, and (it shows) how different he is."

Of course, it doesn't help matters that Remy recently got married without telling his family -- not that he had planned to get drunk and wake up the next morning married to Christina (Karla Mosley). His bride adds to his difficulties when she turns up as an uninvited guest during the dinner.

More here.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Although most people know him as "John Boy" from the television hit series "The Waltons," actor Richard Thomas has had a long and diverse career. Mr. Thomas, who is 57 years old, was raised in Manhattan by his dance instructor parents (they owned the New York School of Ballet) and made his acting debut playing the son of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1958 in "Sunrise at Campello." Stints on two Hallmark Hall of Fame episodes ("A Christmas Tree" and "Give us Barabas") as well as various television soap operas, like "The Edge of Night," followed.

More here.

Thomas played Ben Jr. on The Edge of Night in 1962. He played a young Tom Hughes on As The World Turns from 1966 to 1967. At the time, Tom's dad, Bob, was dating ex-con Sandy, while Tom's mother, Lisa, was newly back in town after trying her luck in Chicago (i.e. the primetime ATWT spin-off, Our Private World). Tom resented being shuttled back and forth between the two households, and rebelled by acting out against both parents. Eileen Fulton's (Lisa) dominant memory of her young co-star was what a hard time the make-up dpeartment had covering Thomas' soon to be famous mole!

Mark it on your calender, royalphiles!

Thursday, January 22, 2009, the one-time ruling King of San Cristobel (so he seized the throne illegally? So what? No one is perfect) returns to Springfield, apparently healed from his latest set of injuries (little kids push hard!) and ready to set right some Edmund-perceived wrongs.

Ex-wife Cassie may be out of town now, but there's still Edmund's other ex-wife, Beth, to torment. Not to mention Reva, who probably still holds a grudge over that whole tried to kill her and her son -- several times -- thing, and Dinah, whom he drugged -- several times. Then there's Olivia, whom Edmund merely threatened to kill, and Alex, whom he dallied with first at Alan's command, then for fun and eventually ended up blackmailing -- also for fun. So there's plenty to keep Edmund busy. (And that's not even counting the men. Think Edmund is going to let bygones be bygones over Jeffrey's drugging him into a coma? Or Rick helping Jeffrey kidnap his rival? Or Josh for being... Josh?)

David Andrew Macdonald, who has played the dashing, Machiavellian prince on and off since 1999, resumes his signature role in almost exactly two months.

Until then, enjoy our photographic look back at Edmund's past adventures in Springfield. The good, the bad, and the baby-napping...

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Currently, the AOL/PGP Classic Soap Channel is airing Texas, an Another World spin-off that aired on NBC from August 4, 1980 to December 31, 1982.

Exactly six years prior to Texas' cancellation, another spin-off from Another World, Somerset, went off the air on December 31, 1976, after a six year run.

The first daytime soap opera spin-off ever, the show was initially titled Another World-Somerset. The lead characters were AW transplants Sam Lucas (Jordan Charney) and his wife, Lahoma (Ann Wedgeworth) and Missy Matthews (Carol Roux) and her son, Ricky, who'd moved an hour's drive from Bay City to start new lives.

In Somerset, viewers met the Delaney family. Jasper, who owned Delaney Brands and basically ran the one industry town as a result, and his children, daughter Laura and sons Peter and Robert.

As most controlling fathers on daytime, Jasper was eventually murdered and Robert stood trial for the crime. Unlike even the most controlling fathers on daytime however, Jasper proved so despicable that he actually had two killers. First daughter Laura shot him, then Harry Wilson, the real father of Laura's son who'd been chased out of town by Jasper years before, finished the job by smothering Jasper with a pillow. Harry was shot by the police and Laura later killed herself with the same gun she'd used on her father.

Robert Delaney (played by soap vet Nicolas Coster) ended up moving to Bay City and hooking up first with Lenore (Susan Sullivan) and later Iris (Beverlee McKinsey), not to mention tangling with Steve Frame, who irrationally reminded Robert of his dominating father, Jasper.

Other familiar soap names to appear on Somerset were Ernest Thompson (Tony; future writer of On Golden Pond), Gary Sandy (Randy; future star of WKRP in Cincinnati), Richard Shoberg (Mitch; future Tom on AMC), Joel Crothers (Julian; future Miles on The Edge of Night), Lois Kibee (Emily; future Geraldine on The Edge of Night), Bibi Besch (Eve; future mother of James Kirk's only son in Wrath of Khan), Michael Nouri (Tom; future watcher of Jennifer Beals removing her bra through her sleeve in Flashdance), Ted Danson (Tom #2; future owner of Cheers), Tina Sloan (Kate; future Olivia on AW -- where she would marry Robert; future Lillian on Guiding Light), Audrey Landers (Heather; future Afton on Dallas), JoBeth Williams (Carrie; future Poltergeist mom) and Jameson Parker (Dale; future Simon of Simon & Simon).


Eliot Dorn, former cult leader and eventual owner of the Unicorn Nightclub, has just been stabbed in the back on the latest AOL/PGP Classic Soap Channel's episode of The Edge of Night.

His most recent evil acts included blackmailing Raven Swift during the custody trial for her son, Jamey. Raven once wrote a letter stating her intention to give Jamey up to April and Draper Scott (a fact that wouldn't exactly colloberate her Mother of the Year credentials in front of a judge). Eliot got his hands on the letter and used it to blackmail his former lover. Of course, now Eliot is dead, and everyone in town is looking for the letter -- not to mention wondering who killed him.

Eliot may be off the show, but EON fans of actor Lee Godart's work on AMC, Ryan's Hope, Search for Tomorrow, Guiding Light and As The World Turns, can catch him on stage in New York in Farragut North with Keith Carradine.

Read coverage of the show here, here, and here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Bill clearly has something on his mind.

Any guesses what? Tell us in the Comments below!

It was the best of times...

It was the worst of times...

Oh, Henry. What have you done now?

And what does The Blonde have to do with it?

Find out this Friday, only on As The World Turns!

The Future of Soaps at the MIT Futures of Entertainment Conference This Weekend

This coming weekend, MIT will host its third annual Futures of Entertainment conference (FoE3). The event brings together leading scholars and folks from the media industries to talk about the latest trends in the industry. The conference is sponsored by the research group I helped found and formerly served as project manager for, the Convergence Culture Consortium. This project is dedicated to bringing scholars and the industry together with the thought that a conversation between the two will ultimately breed better work. This year's roster includes respected scholars such as Yochai Benkler, Grant McCracken, John Caldwell, Anita Elberse, and my mentor, Henry Jenkins, as well as one of the executive producers of The Ghost Whisperer, Kim Moses; Tom Boland from World Wrestling Entertainment; renowned production designer Alex McDowell, whose latest project is Watchmen; Gregg Hale, who was producer of The Blair Witch Project; and former As the World Turns Emmy award-winning writer and current soaps blogger Tom Casiello.

What does this conference have to do with soap operas? Many things, actually. Soap operas have a long history of collaboration with academia. The list of soap opera writers who eventually went to academia, or else worked between the two worlds, is long. A dear friend of mine, Kay Alden, came into the soap opera business from academia, where she had been researching the genre's impact on social change. Suzanne Frentz was an academic and former soaps writer who dedicated herself to empowering the conversation between these two worlds. At a time when soap operas--and all television--is in the midst of great change, I think this conversation between soap operas and those who research media, audiences, and entertainment has never been more important. That's why I have dedicated significant time to writing about soaps, including my class on soaps back in the spring, my Master's thesis at MIT, and the book I'm currently co-editing with Abigail De Kosnik from the University of California--Berkeley and C. Lee Harrington at Miami University. I feel that, ironically, soaps have lost some of that connection to academia at a time when collaboration regarding the genre has never been more important.

More directly, though, all this talk about narratives and entertainment that expands across multiple media forms and that creates immersive story worlds has its roots in the U.S. soap opera form. What fictional worlds could possibly be more expansive than Springfield, or perhaps even more appropriately, Oakdale, Ill., where many characters have existed for 50+ years, with deep histories that provide unbelievable and untapped creative potential?

Tom Casiello will be sitting on a panel about narrative franchises. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, for a couple of reasons. First, there has been some recent discussion about how some of the best primetime shows don't gain as high of ratings, perhaps because they aren't as easily to create franchised merchandise around them or fictional extensions. Think Friday Night Lights, a show that has prominently featured ATWT alum Daniella Alonso (ex-Pilar) and Zach Roerig (ex-Casey), and perhaps also Mad Men, another show with strong ATWT ties, from its featuring alum Peyton List (ex-Lucy) to its prominent focus on a controversial episode of the old show The Defenders featuring Kathleen Widdoes (the incomparable Emma Snyder) and a plot line revolving around the supercouple of Penny Hughes and Jeff Baker. Virginia Heffernan argues that shows like these won't be able to get mainstream ratings because they are just good shows and don't present franchising opportunities.

This has been a question for soaps as well. I was recently featured in a roundtable discussion with a variety of scholars at the Flow Conference at the University of Texas in Austin. A podcast will soon be available, and I hope to write a follow-up post here when it's ready. We discussed this very issue, and I posited that perhaps part of the reason is what we've conceived as a narrative franchise or a story extension hasn't worked well for primarily emotional material, of which soap operas fall into, but likewise a show like FNL. Why have soap operas only been able to experiment with expanding the narrative out from the show itself, while its "immersive story world" brethren (and I choose the masculine here intentionally) like comic books and professional wrestling have worlds that generate all sorts of story outside of the "main text" itself (and huge revenues aside from the core show or book series)? Part of it is that soap operas were always seen as a vehicle to promote soap--to sell ads--while professional wrestling television programs were always envisioned as a vehicle to sell the fictional world and the brand of the promotion and its characters, above all else.

I know these are issues many soap opera fans care about, as well as the soap opera industry. How are soap operas going to continue evolving? We're already seeing more of Oakdale and Springfield than we've ever imagined. The Snyder farm has come alive, and we've seen all sorts of spots around town that we would have never seen in prior times. What could be next for soaps? We've seen the TeleNext soaps experiment with a variety of ideas, from Luke Snyder's blog to L.A. Diaries to Oakdale Confidential to Jonathan's Story. But P&G has always experimented, such as with Our Private World in the 1960s.

What's next for soaps? With millions of viewers invested in the genre, some of the richest characters on television, and some of the most talented actors around, the genre still has a lot going for it, in spite of ratings and budget woes.

These are hopefully among the issues Tom will tackle for his part of the panel Saturday. He'll be juxtaposing what's happening with soaps with what's happening in film, the professional wrestling world, and other areas. I know I'll be on hand to ask some questions, and I hope some of you will be as well. His panel will be on Saturday, the same day of my panel on the intersection between industry and the academy. For more information on registration, look here. If you have any questions about the event, you can e-mail me at

Sam Ford is Director of Customer Insights for Peppercom Strategic Communications and a research affiliate with MIT's Convergence Culture Consortium. He writes regularly on the PepperDigital blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Craig Montgomery, now played by soap vet Jon Lindstrom, comes back to Oakdale this December, and the PGP Classic Soap Blog has an exclusive photo preview!

The wily Craig, previously played by Scott Bryce, Hunt Block and Jeffrey Meek wastes no time in acquiring a new agenda, a new co-conspirator, and a new love interest that will truly shock you. (Well, it shocked me, and I've been doing this for a while.)

As always with Craig, nothing is exactly what it seems, and every other human being is just a pawn in his machinations.

You can't miss a moment, only on As The World Turns!

Click here for another photo of two GL Lizzies, past and present, Hayden Panettiere and Marcy Rylan.



We have profiled three people who have posted thousands of comments over the years. There's a chemist-turned-handyman, a snake-loving grandmother and a patriotic military man. They are behind the nearly 200,000 comments left on the newspaper's Web site this year.


WHO IS SHE? Gina Lee,'s third-most frequent commentator

HER LIFE OFFLINE: Mrs. Lee, a short blonde with bobbed hair, is an Augusta native, a Barack Obama supporter and an animal lover. The 60-year-old is a mother of three and grandmother to seven. She checks the Web site most mornings while eating breakfast alongside her pet python, Rambo, and the family's toothless cat, Hot Rod.

HER LIFE ONLINE: Mrs. Lee started commenting on the site two years ago. She says her screen name doesn't hold a whole lot of personal significance.

"There was a character on As the World Turns . I watched it for years. I always liked the name," she said.

Score one for the showgirl from New Jersey!


The Boudreau family meets son Remy's new "friend."

Don't they look thrilled?

(Guess they really put a lot of stock in MCAT scores.)

Check it out this holiday season, only on Guiding Light!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Buzz is not having a very happy Thanksgiving.

Find out why, only next week only on Guiding Light.

In the meantime, take your best guess and Caption This!

A few days ago we were asked for preview photos of Thanksgiving in Oakdale.

Your wish, as always, is our command:

Only next week, only on As The World Turns.

Helfand, 48, teaches graphic design at Yale and is co-principal with her husband, William Drenttel, of the design firm Winterhouse. She and Drenttel are also cofounders, along with Michael Bierut, of what has become the graphic designer blog of choice, Design Observer ( It averages a million hits a month.

After graduating from Yale, Helfand worked as a secretary at an ad firm, then as a soap opera writer. A few years of "Guiding Light" and "Search for Tomorrow" were enough to send her back to Yale for graduate work in design.

Entire article, here.

Ms. Helfand's website states that: A member of the Writers Guild of America for more than two decades, Helfand was previously part of the CBS-TV Guiding Light writing team that won an Emmy Award for best writing in 1985.

In 1985, the Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series Emmy went to All My Children.

In 1986, Guiding Light won the honor. According to both Guiding Light: The Complete Family Album and The Emmys, Jessica Helfand was not an official member of the winning team.

1986 was also the year when, due to an error in transcribing the winners' list to the cards read by the presenters, Y&R was announced as tops in the writing category. It was only after the ceremony, when a press release was put out using the original winners list, that everyone realized a mistake had been made. The GL writers got their award a few days later in a special ceremony at the St. Regis Hotel.

It was the first time such an error had been made (or, more probably, the first time it was caught and admitted) in Emmy history.

Moral: Everybody makes mistakes.

Debra Cole, a 46-year-old native of Buffalo, spent years on and off Broadway as an actor, but an illness she kept secret for years has brought her back to the Niagara Frontier where she gives acting classes for These Working Actors.

She has worked with James Earl Jones and Mario Van Peebles on Arts and Entertainment Network and with Kevin Bacon on a soap opera. Her soap opera appearances include “Guiding Light,” “As the World Turns” and “Ryan’s Hope.”

Entire story, here.

Debra Cole played a drifter named Patsy on GL in 1986. Simon and Jessie were arrested for a robbery at Company that Patsy and her boyfriend, Jack, actually committed. The episode aired in 1986. Ms. Cole returned to the show in 1989 and again briefly in 1994 to play Connie Lemay, Susan/Daisy's adoptive mother. In the first scene, she and husband Jim were taking custody of Susan/Daisy from a tearful Harley. In the final one, she and Jim came to ask Dylan to donate a part of his pancreas to Susan in order to cure her rare form of diabetes (the procedure obviously worked, as Susan can now guzzle sugary soda with the best of them). Dylan agreed and underwent the procedure. But when he asked to see Susan, the Lemays refused.

Kevin Bacon appeared on GL as Tim from 1980 to 1981. (Let's give the above story the benefit of the doubt and presume that prior to her speaking roles as Patsy and Connie, Ms. Cole may have worked as an extra on GL in a scene that did feature Mr. Bacon.)

Friday, November 14, 2008


These days, actress Judith Chapman, who is set to appear at the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council's 2nd Annual Smart Cookie Chef's Challenge and Holiday Silent Auction on December 7, is best known for her role as the duplicitous, and not particularly sane, Gloria on Y&R.

GH fans may remember her as Ginny Blake, Mike's natural mother and Rick Webber's last wife. (Wonder if anyone told her that Rick was dead? Or that his previous wife, Lesley, was alive, for that matter?)

She also appeared on Ryan's Hope, OLTL and DOOL. But, in 1975, Chapman made her daytime debut on As The World Turns as Natalie Bannon, the first ever client of fledging lawyer Tom Hughes.

After clearing Natalie of a grand larceny charge, Tom fell in love with her. Making Natalie not only Tom's first client, but also his first affair. While falling for Natalie, he happened to also be married to Carol.

Meanwhile, Bob was treating Natalie for Wilson's Disease, and keeping her illness a secret from his son. Once Tom found out, he resolved to divorce Carol and marry Natalie.

Lisa was not thrilled. There was something about the young woman she didn't like. Something she couldn't quite put her finger on. Something that reminded Lisa... of herself.

Soon, it came out that Natalie had been married before. Tom forgave her after she confessed that her husband had been a drug addict, that's why she kept her marriage and divorce a secret -- out of shame. She apparently was less ashamed of the fact that, while married, she'd also carried on an affair with her husband's brother (and that's what drove her husband to suicide; not drug use). But Tom didn't know about either about the brother or the suicide, so he went ahead and married Natalie over Lisa's protests.

Soon Natalie found herself being drawn to Jay, the current husband of Tom's ex-wife, Carol (these folks really ought to get out and circulate more). Natalie and Jay eventually slept together. Tom found out. He divorced Natalie but promised Jay he wouldn't tell Carol about the one-night-stand as long as Jay kept away from Natalie in the future.

Jay tried.

Jay failed.

Natalie managed to convince him that Carol still had feelings for Tom, and this suspicion obviously justified Jay and Natalie launching into a full-fledged affair. When Carol found out, she left Jay. This made Jay sad and he resolved to win Carol back. This made Natalie sad and she resolved to keep Jay for herself.

After much back and forth, crying, manipulating, blackmailing and, as a last resort, truth-telling, Jay and Carol reconciled. Even Natalie's pregnancy failed to derail their reunion. Carol offered to adopt the baby. Natalie explained that she could never, ever give up her child. Unless, of course, someone were to offer her $10,000. At which point she would give it some serious consideration.

Jay didn't want to give in to blackmail. But Carol, who was desperate for a child, did. Natalie took the money. And left town.

Carol and Jay were in the process of a divorce when Natalie dumped baby Amy on the Stallings' doorstop. A broke Jay wanted to give his own daughter up for adoption. Carol refused, even going so far as to stop divorce proceedings in order to hold on to Amy.

They remained together (even through Jay's subsequent jail stint), until Jay was killed in a mine explosion in 1980.

Natalie (now played by Janet Zarish; currently the evil nurse Janet on OLTL and perhaps best known as the car rental agent whom Jerry accused of being able to take a reservation but not of keeping a reservation on Seinfeld) resurfaced briefly in 1981 when Carol's new love, Steve (later of Steve & Betsy fame) was involved with returning a stolen necklace to Natalie's latest husband. After scheming to see Amy several times without Carol and Steve's permission, Natalie gave up and left town.

And this is the sort of women they're planning to let around impressionable Girl Scouts?

During her sophomore and junior years at Framingham High School, Elizabeth Daly worked for Flyer News, the school's television production program, following her passion for broadcasting.

That passion has taken Daly, 20, a member of the class of 2006, to Emerson College, where she's majoring in video and television preparing to become a daytime television producer.

It's a dream that can come true soon.

After her graduation next fall, Daly, 20, hopes to start making a living producing television programs similar to "Guiding Light," or "The View," her favorite TV shows.

Entire story, here.

As The World Turns gets a second Jade Taylor when Davida Williams joins the cast on December 17, 2008.

Jade, last seen in the summer of 2007, is Lily's niece, the daughter her late twin, Rose, gave up for adoption at birth. Though it was never stated outright, the suggestion is that Rose surrendered Jade in part because her baby was biracial.

Jade will be the second African-American/White character on the canvas. Bonnie McKechnie is the daughter of Jessica and Duncan (read their story, here).

In the past, we've also met Oakdale's multiracial Hope Dixon, daughter of Andy and Denise (who was the baby switched at birth with Faith Snyder) and Lien Hughes (first played by Ming Na, above), Tom's daughter with a woman he fell in love with in Vietnam.

Guiding Light features Leah, Rick and Mel's daughter, as well as, back in the 1980s, the illegitimate Spauldings of Barbados and more recently and so briefly, poor little Max.

The first front burner mixed race character in daytime was Mia Elliot (Nancy Hsueh) on Love is a Many Splendored Thing in 1967. Mia was the Eurasian daughter of a dead Korean War soldier who moved to San Francisco from Hong Kong and fell in love with a white man. Though the show would run until 1973, Mia was written out after the first year. Creator Irna Phillips was so furious when the network told her to kill the interracial romance due to viewer anger, that she quit the show.

Since those days, other soap opera mixed race characters have included Keemo on Y&R, Rachel, Keri and little Jamie on OLTL, Vincent and the entire Lopez-Fitzgerald clan on Passions, GH's Tom Jr., Lexie on DOOL, Marcus on B&B, Jamal, Maddie and now Natalia on AMC. (What's interesting is that in the 1990s, when Y&R had their Big Four: Victoria Rowell, Kristoff St. John, Tonya Lee Williams and Shemar Moore, all of the actors were biracial, while their characters were not. Christel Khalil who now plays "their" daughter Lily is another multiracial actress playing a non-multiracial character, as is GL's Yvonna Wright.)

Courtesy of the President Elect, mixed race people are at the forefront of America's consciousness, with an ongoing debate about self versus group versus private versus public identification and all of the identity issues surrounding it.

Is this something you would like to see the soaps address?

Let us know in the Comments below!