Wednesday, August 31, 2011


In honor of All My Children taping their last day at ABC Studios yesterday, I thought we'd take a look back at 1998's Soap Opera Hall of Fame Ceremony, as televised by E! Entertainment Television.

The special was hosted by Peter Bergman (Jack; Y&R; ex-Cliff; AMC) and the late Ruth Warrick (Pheobe; AMC) was one of the honorees, alongside Eileen Fulton (Lisa; ATWT), General Hospital Executive Producer Gloria Monty and GL Casting Director Betty Rea.

I wrote the show, and had the privilege of interviewing all of the inductees (and their co-stars) for the congratulatory video packages.

In Part #1, we've got red-carpet arrivals at Planet Hollywood (look quickly and you can spot everyone from ATWT's Don Hastings to AMC's Julia Barr to a a pint-sized Hayden Panetierre, then of GL; not to mention Isaac Hayes!), and a retrospective of past honorees (Irna Phillips! Bill Bell! Macdonald Carey!).


More to come, tomorrow!

Monday, August 29, 2011


Earlier this month, Lee Goldberg on this blog, A Writer's Life, quoted best-selling author Lawrence Block to the effect that:

I sincerely hope that my writing pleases you, but if you think I’m here to give you what you want, there’s a lot you don’t understand about writing, and no end of things you don’t understand about me. The greatest disservice I could do my readers is to try to give them what they want. That’s just not part of my job description. All I can do is write my books my way, and try to make them so irresistible that you enjoy reading what I want to write.

When Another World Today launched in 2009, the basic premise, rather than merely picking up life in Bay City ten years after television cancellation, was to let fans guide the story. And we've stuck to it.

For years, soap fans have wanted more input into their favorite shows. Although, as Victoria Rowell (ex-Dru; Y&R) told me when I interviewed her for Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, "It's very interesting how fans have an influence over what sometimes is included in the storyline."

The question is: Should they?

Exactly how much say should fans have over a storyline? One thing I've learned from AWT, and Mindy's Twitter, as well, is that there is absolutely no such thing as what "all the fans want."

Here is an example of a recent poll of ours:

Should Morgan apologize to Marley?
Votes for Yes 50%
Votes for No 49%

Clearly, half the readers are going to be unhappy regardless of which direction we go in. I see similar things with the on-air soaps, as GH's JaSam fans battle Liason, and each side swears that the show's ratings would go through the roof if only their favorite couple is allowed to reunite.

So I ask you: Should TPTB listen to fan input? And which fan input should they listen to? Or should they do as Steven Spielberg once said, "My job isn't to make movies the audience wants to see. My job is to make the audience want to see the movies I make."

Tell us in the Comments below!

“Alright, I’m here,” Grant bullied past Jamie into the Frame living room. “What the hell is so important it couldn’t wait until morning or be handled over the phone? Well?” Grant looked from Jamie to Lorna as they stared at him uneasily. “I’m waiting.”

“Sit down, Grant,” Jamie said in a quiet, weary voice.

“I don’t want to sit down,” Grant snapped as he took in Jamie’s stricken face, warning bells now clanging in his ears. “I want you to tell me what….” He blinked as something occurred to him. “Where’s Kirkland? His car wasn’t parked out front.”

Lorna stepped forward. “He isn’t here.”

“What do you mean he isn’t here? What kind of curfew – ”

“Sit down and let us explain.”

“Explain what?” Grant hissed as he felt himself go cold, preferring to lash out rather than hear what they had to say, what he could tell from their faces they intended to say. “That you’ve been so caught up playing newlyweds and having a baby of your own that you’ve neglected my son and have no clue where he is?”


Jamie and Lorna juggle Spencer and Grant in order to rescue Kirkland, Steven shakes Sarah's confidence about her latest conquest, Alice puts her husband on the spot, and Frankie makes a promise to Cass even as she continues to keep her own secrets.

All at:

Friday, August 26, 2011


As Hurricane Irene prepares to batter the East Coast (or not, our local meteorologist keeps talking about The Cone of Uncertainty... which those of us who were Get Smart fans can't help relating to The Cone of Silence), I am reminded of a fan submission to Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments:

Although short-lived in the soap world, SUNSET BEACH stands out for some of the amazing special effects work they did on extended storylines. Specifically, I remember the earthquake sequences and the resulting tsunami which turned into an homage to The Poseidon Adventure with the characters who were out on a cruise ship when the earthquake and tsunami occurred. It’s hard to believe that a mere dozen years later, no current soap opera would ever spend the kind of money they must have spent on those special effects.

Enjoy a clip below!

(PS: My family and I are currently in NYC's Area A, i.e. the one most likely to do its own Sunset Beach homage... or not. So if there are no posts or updates come Monday... send out the Coast Guard.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011


In February, we had a discussion on this blog regarding sex on soaps, in books, and basically how much was too much and how much not enough?

I was of the opinion that if sex serves story, it was justified, if it doesn't, then it's just hack-work. In this week's episode of Another World Today, I felt it was justified. Do you agree?

Coming from the world of romance novels, I'm pretty comfortable with writing a sex scene. The only times I wasn't, was when I wrote Oakdale Confidential, The Man From Oakdale, and co-wrote Jonathan's Story.

The reasons were two-fold.

One) When I wrote my own romance novels, the characters were all completely imaginary, so I could put them in any situation without qualms. When it came to the soap tie-ins, the characters were still imaginary, but they were played by actors who I actually knew and worked alongside with. Which meant that when putting them in the aforementioned... situations, I wasn't just visualizing the characters, I was visualizing the actors. And that felt... odd.

And two) Usually when I write a book, I don't have to think about who'll be reading it, save my editors, and this is all in a day's work for them. When it came to the soap opera tie-ins, the books had to be vetted by the ATWT and GL writers, producers, PR people and executives. Which, once again, meant that people who were my professional colleagues were reading sex scenes I'd written. Not the most comfortable feeling in the world.

As a result, Oakdale Confidential, The Man From Oakdale and Jonathan's Story are a bit tamer than my independent works like When a Man Loves a Woman. I'm sorry if that's disappointing to the readers, but I still needed to be able to look my bosses in the eye!


“I can’t imagine Kirk hasn’t broken curfew before,” Lorna offered with what she hoped was a comforting smile.


“Never?” The comfort turned to disbelief.

“Never,” Jamie shook his head. “Even when I was working late at the hospital and I’d never be the wiser, he’d call to check in and let me know he was home okay.”

“He could’ve been calling from anywhere.” Lorna pointed out, not so much looking to get Kirkland into retroactive trouble but more to keep Jamie’s visibly growing terror in check. “Are you sure Kirkland’s, well, normal? He isn’t some throwback Stepford child post-experimental brainwashing?”

“He’s a good kid. Who, at the moment, is scaring the hell out of me.”

“Maybe he’s just still upset from earlier.”

“And, what? punishing me for talking to Frankie by staying out, ignoring my calls, and making me sweat? No matter how mad he is, he’d at least answer his phone to yell at me about leaving him alone. When Kirkland gets mad, he also gets scarily articulate.” Jamie scanned the darkness beyond their window. “No. Something’s wrong.”


Jamie's concern about Kirkland proves tragically accurate, Cass and Frankie at long last level with Charlie, Morgan challenges Amanda regarding her true motivations, while Sarah tempts Grant into abandoning his common sense.

All at:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I've written before about my sneaking suspicion that my love of figure skating stemmed from my love of soaps. When I worked as a researcher at ABC, we even talked about what "storylines" we would be pushing for a given broadcast, be it a rivalry between two skaters (Brian Boitano/Brian Orser), a bad boy/girl trying to redeem their image (Christopher Bowman/Tonya Harding), overcoming adversity (Elena Bereznaia post-taking a blade to the head), and, of course, the ever-popular love story.

Even non-skating fans are familiar with the tale of Ekaterina Gordeeva and the late Sergei Grinkov, or the now divorced Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.

But before those skating sweetheart stories captured the public's imagination, there was another couple: Ludmilla Belousova and Oleg Protopopov (read a recent interview with them, here).

The Protopopovs were six-time USSR National Champions, 1965, 1966 1967 & 1968 World and European Champions and two-time Olympic Champions in 1964 & 1968.

Many pairs innovations have been attributed directly to them including but not limited to the lovely “death spiral” which they feel should be more aptly named the "cosmic" spiral.

In 1979, Oleg and Ludmilla defected from the then Soviet Union to seek asylum in Switzerland, which is now their winter home.

This September 3, 2011, at their summer home in Lake Placid, NY at the Herb Brooks Arena (Olympic Center/2634 Main Street) at 7PM, the Skating Club of Lake Placid, in cooperation with the NYS Olympic Regional Development Authority presents a tribute to the Protopopovs.

Tickets are $10.00 for Adults, $8.00 for Youth (7-12) and Seniors (65+). All proceeds to benefit the Skating Club.

Contact: Liz De Fazio (518-523-1655, x.226 or for more information on seeing the team that's been described as "beloved around the world and best known for their romance and artistry on the ice. Their beauty of line and perfection of unity, along with their harmony with the music, have often been emulated by many pairs’ teams but duplicated by few."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Back in my 1980s teen years, the love of my life was author Sidney Sheldon. I wanted to be him when I grew up. (I still want to be him when I grow up, but the enhanced e-book version of him.)

Alas, Mr. Sheldon would, at best, turn out a novel every two years or so. That wasn't nearly enough to feed my eight books a week (the maximum our local library would allow per check-out) habit.

So I had to make due with others who wrote in the glitz/glamour/melodrama/as close as you could get to a soap without a TV set genre.

I read some Judith Krantz, some Jeffrey Archer, some Colleen McCollough, some Belva Plain (if they made mini-series from it in the 80s, I gave it a shot.) I also read Ruth Harris.

Ruth Harris wrote books with titles like Love & Money, Decades, Modern Women, Husbands & Lovers and The Last Romantics.

They all spanned multiple years and featured an assortment of characters, some rich, some poor but determined not to stay that way, who we got to watch grow up, become romantically entangled with each other, and cross paths in expected - and unexpected - ways, all while wearing fabulous clothes, eating rich foods and having great sex.

Seriously. What's not to like?

The good news is, Ruth Harris has made her books, long out of print, available on Kindle.

The even better news? They're only $.99 cents each!

I've spent the last week gorging on 1980s opulence, decadence, and soapiness. And now so can you! I've listed all the available titles below, in order of my personal preference...

Monday, August 22, 2011


Michael Fairman posted his in-depth interview with Kim Zimmer (Reva; GL) this weekend. Read the entire thing at:

At one point, he mentions:

So I have something to tell you. I was contacted to be a contributor for this upcoming e-book on some of soap operas most memorable moments. I was asked if I could write something up on Kim Zimmer‘s “Slut of Springfield” scene. They wanted to know why it was a memorable moment, and what the set-up was, and what the fans said about it. And then, I decided to watch your Emmy win back on YouTube, with the spiky hair and the throwing off your shoes. I remember it like yesterday!

So do I! Only because I can remember the look on my mother’s eyes when I had my hair like that, and I went up to accept my award. (Laughs)

Am I correct, I thought you won the 1984 Daytime Emmy for “The Slut of Springfield” scenes? But in the book you said, those were not the episodes you submitted. This shocked me!

No, I did not use those scenes. It surprised me that they used that clip on the Emmy telecast, so I assume people thought that was on my reel, but is wasn’t. Seriously, that scene when I dubbed myself “The Slut of Springfield”, that was like Act 6C. And everything else before that were party scenes. Those were the days when you had to submit every scene you were in, in the episode. You could not edit anything out. I am telling you, voters would have been asleep by the time they got to “The Slut of Springfield” if I had chosen that reel. (Laughs) I think I submitted the aftermath of that.

The book he's referring to is Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, and I do address the fact that while everyone thinks Kim won her first Emmy for Slut of Springfield, that isn't, in fact, the case.

She told me, “I couldn't submit that, because that was the only thing in that episode and the rest was all party scenes, and you have to submit every scene you're in. Everyone assumes (that's what won me the Emmy), but that's not what I submitted. I don't even remember what I submitted, but I know it wasn't that show because it was the last scene at the end of a very long show full of other people.”

Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime's Greatest Moments will be out in September of 2011.

In the meantime, check out Kim's book, below!


In spite of his better judgment, which included moral, ethical, sensible and fashionable, Grant nevertheless found himself at the appointed time in the appointed place, in front of Cory Hall at BCU, 8PM sharp, wearing, if not quite the 70s leisure suit Sarah had requested, at least a casual, cream Elements By Zanetti designer one over a Ferregamo dress-shirt, no tie, collar unbuttoned. This, for Grant, was as laid-back as it got.

All around him, kids who looked Kirkland’s age – no, Grant wasn’t going to dwell on the fight with Kirkland, not right now anyway – streamed past him into the dance dressed in an assortment of outfits ranging from Saturday Night Fever to Woodstock to Annie Hall. None of them gave a damn about Grant’s presence. And none of them were Sarah.

He was beginning to wonder if he’d misunderstood her directive entirely – maybe she was just asking him for advice on what she should wear to best reflect his archeologically ancient generation – when he heard a voice call out behind him, “You made it!”

Grant turned around, already smiling in anticipation, ready to tease her about being late. Except that every word instantly flew out his head the moment he caught sight of Sarah’s chosen get-up for the occasion.

She wore a hot-pink, Lycra, micro-mini dress, turtleneck but sleeveless, and so skin-right, Grant couldn’t believe anything might possibly prove capable of sliding in beneath it and her skin, accessorized with matching, knee-high boots on spiked heels that brought her up nearly to Grant’s eye-level.

His speechlessness seemed to thrill Sarah to no end. She grinned, grabbing his hand, and leading Grant inside. “I’ve been waiting for you!”

Once over the threshold, it was wall-to-wall bodies. Wall-to-wall gyrating bodies, and music that echoed off every one of those walls, along with strobe lights and the smell of cheap, college beer. Grant wasn’t sure what to do first. Blink until his eyes adjusted to the glare, shake his head in hopes of warding off the ringing in his ears, or just drink and see if that might conveniently solve both problems.

He never got the chance to attempt either.


Charlie attempts to explain herself to Kirkland while Frankie does the same with Cass - only to receive a surprise in return, Jeanne makes a move on Dean, John urges Donna to be true to herself, for Marley's sake if nothing else, and YOU get to vote on the future of Sarah and Grant's relationship!

All at:

Friday, August 19, 2011

C.I.A. F.A.Q.

So let's say you're the struggling single mom of a special needs child (having given his identical, more sturdy twin brother away to an abusive, distant cousin, and dumped your older daughter in the care of her upstanding, albeit periodically mentally ill, godmother, who also unknowingly happens to be your children's half-sister).

You've tried all the usual methods for scraping up enough money to support your little boy: food stamps, food banks, welfare, Section 8 housing, Medicaid, TANF, WIC, private charities, religious charities, actually getting a job... but none, alas, are good enough for little Victor Lord Jr.

You're left with no other options. It's the C.I.A. or starvation.

Naturally, being a struggling single mom, you are awash in the sort of skills the C.I.A. is looking for, including cartography, information technology, and advanced weaponry.

And have no problem meeting the following qualification:

We (will) examine your freedom from conflicting allegiances, potential to be coerced, and willingness and ability to abide by regulations governing the use, handling and the protection of sensitive information. The CIA uses the polygraph to check the veracity of this information. The hiring process also includes a thorough mental and physical medical examination in relation to performing essential job functions.


If Irene Manning could qualify.... yeah. I'm afraid now.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


A case of SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) is headed for primetime as the sitcom Modern Family has recast the two year old twins who play Cam and Mitchell's daughter, Lily, with an older, more verbal (presumably less poker-faced) child.

While endemic in daytime (see: Every single one of Y&R Victor Newman's children, to start), primetime has had its share of overnight growth spurts, as well. The best-known is probably Family Ties' Andrew, but there was also Chrissie on Growing Pains, Nicky on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Christopher on Dallas (it happened during the dream season; guess Pam subconsciously really wanted her son out of the terrible twos), Grace Under Fire's Quentin (though the alleged reason for that particular recast was disturbing) and Conner on Angel (hey, just because there was a demon dimension involved doesn't keep it from counting).

I'm really going to miss deadpan Lily. I understand that toddlers are hard to write for and even harder to direct, but there was such a unique opportunity there to play a story rarely seen on television: How do you, as a parent, deal with a child - biological or adopted - who is nothing at all like you?

All of the characters on Modern Family are larger than life, over-the-top, theatrical. And into their family comes a little girl who sits through their assorted shenanigans without blinking an eye. Maybe she and Jay (Ed O'Neill) could have bonded over their mutual reticence to get involved? How would Cam and Mitchell have reacted to their daughter preferring to chill in the quiet of Grandpa's house over the chaos of her Dads'? What if she had no interest in the music and drama classes Cam insisted on getting her involved in? What if she wasn't the star of her pre-school class?

When my kids participated in organized activities, the teachers, while handing out balls or hula-hoops or maracas, taught them the mantra, "You get what you get and you don't get upset."

Consequently, I have adopted it as my child-rearing philosophy. (I am also partial to Kung Fu Panda's parable of the peach tree: No matter what you do, (a peach tree) seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.)

I'm kind of sad I won't get to watch Modern Family's experience with the same now....

“Cass and Frankie have agreed to investigate Jeanne for us.”

That certainly got Matt’s attention. His chin jerked up and he put both his hands over Donna’s wrists, directing her to look at him. “We’re having Jeanne investigated?”

“How else are you and I supposed to get rid of that loathsome girl?”

“I…” Matt began, realizing he didn’t have an answer. Or an alternative. “What do you expect Cass and Frankie to find out about her that we can use?”

“Please, Matthew, a young woman with so revolting a personality is bound to leave a trail of victims in her wake. You hardly think you’re the first, do you?”

“Well…” Again, he had no answer. All Matt had was the observation, “Jeanne is pretty open about things. Even when she does something rotten, she admits it as she’s doing it. I really don’t think she’s got secrets to be uncovered.”

“Everyone has secrets,” Donna contradicted. “Especially those who like to boast how they’re an open book.”

“But, just in case, what are we going to do if Frankie and Cass come up empty?”

“You mean, in case you have to marry Jeanne anyway?”

Matt nodded. Which was kind of hard to do when you were lying down.

“If it comes to that, I did happen to think of an alternative...."


Donna offers Matt one vision of the future while Rachel and Jeanne consider another, Marley questions John about the past, Lori Ann's extended family ponders what they've gained and lost since Jenna's death, Kirkland's misguided tirade prompts Grant to utterly reevaluate his next move, and Lila confronts Chase.

All at:

Monday, August 15, 2011


When I mentioned a little about my own background while urging people not to watch Russian Dolls last week, it prompted a reader to Tweet me: You should write about this; at the very least a series of posts on the blog. I'd love to read all about it.

I was going to write back and say I didn't think my past as a seven year old Soviet Jewish immigrant traversing Europe by trains and buses sometimes guarded by the Jewish Defense League on motorcycles mounted with machine guns, was particularly compatible with a blog dedicated to remembering and keeping quintessentially American soap operas alive, and instead planned to invoke a soap character that was most like me for reference.

But, then I realized there was no soap character like me. Ever.

As the mom of three kids who are interfaith, inter-cultural and interracial, I am constantly advised by experts in the field that it is imperative my children have fictional characters in books, movies, and on television that they can relate to. The implication is that these characters must be similarly interfaith, intercultural, and interracial.

Well, guess what? That just ain't going to happen.

At the moment, my two younger children are deeply into He-Man and She-Ra (you can thank their mid-30s uncle for introducing those 1980s cartoons into their lives). My oldest loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Hunger Games.

At no point, did anyone say, "Gosh, Mommy, I sure wish He-Man were a Jewish African-American like me!"

While there have been periodic Jewish characters on daytime (OLTL's Nora, GL's Drew and DOOL's Robin the most prominent), I certainly didn't let their scarcity keep me from a lifelong love of daytime drama.

For me, soaps - all of TV, really - was less about seeing a reflection of myself (I learned very early that wasn't going to happen; during my childhood, the only Russian-speaking characters on TV were either evil or foolish KGB spies) and more about finding characters I wanted to be like. (GH's Anna Devane. I really wanted to be GH's Anna Devane. And fight those evil/foolish KGB - no, sorry, DVX - spies while swinging my gorgeous, waist length, raven hair and looking fabulous in a pair of impossibly tight jeans.)

Which, in a long-winded way, leads me to the question I wanted to ask today: What does it mean to "relate" to a fictional character? Do you seek out favorites who are identical to you in external ways? Or is something else more important?

Tell me in the Comments below!

“You two seem to be doing better,” Felicia observed as she accepted her sparkling water with a splash of pomegranate juice, taking a sip through the requisite pink, twisty straw and indicating Frankie who, with Charlie’s laughing help, was spinning a giggly, squirmy Lori Ann around to play Pin the Tiara on the Princess. “Did you and Frankie get a chance to talk finally? Clear the air? She put your mind at ease about her missing years?”

Cass shook his head. “We got… side-tracked.”

“You don’t seem particularly upset about it.”

“I gave it some further thought. What would be the point? We both had lives during the time we were apart. But they don’t matter. The only thing that matters is the life we have now, together, with Charlie and Lori Ann, and our family and friends…”

“The past has a nasty tendency to rear up and disrupt your present when you least expect it,” Felicia advised with a near-exhausted sigh.

“Yeah. I heard about Spencer. Is Lucas involved?”

Felicia hesitated, then nodded once, briefly, as if any greater acknowledgment might trigger instant repercussions.

“Are the two of you in danger?”


Lori Ann's 2nd birthday party sets the scene for bittersweet memories, attempted reconciliations, and pointed accusations. Kirkland takes his anger with one parent out on another, Donna steps back from John for his own good, and even in death, Gregory offers his friends insights into themselves.

All at:

Friday, August 12, 2011


As promised, I have completed the text to Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, and now it's off to editing, formatting, coding and publication!

Right now, we are looking at a September 19, 2011 release date on (Keep your fingers crossed that everything goes on schedule.)

Thank you to all the actors, writers, producers, soap journalists and, most importantly the fans, who contributed their opinions, memories, and behind the scenes stories.

We hope you'll enjoy the final result!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Like the creator of tonight's debuting reality series, Russian Dolls, my first name is also Alina and I too emigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States at the age of seven.

I have been known to enjoy a beef tongue sandwich and, until I had kids of my own, wasn't too versed on the denizens of Sesame Street.

However, based on the pilot episode of Russian Dolls, it is obvious the Americas she and I inhabit are worlds apart. Mine is pretty much filled with hard-working, over-educated, sure-they-can-be-overbearing-who-can't-be? people barely distinguishable from the Chinese-American Tiger Moms everyone was talking about last winter.

Her America is filled with Botox. And night-clubs. And vodka (okay, I've got that, too.)

I'm not going to ask you not to watch Russian Dolls because it's obnoxious and shallow and insulting and a blatant rip-off of The Jersey Shore. (Notice I didn't say it was inaccurate. Those people certainly do exist. I just do my best to avoid them.)

I am asking you not to watch Russian Dolls because it's just another reality show taking network space away from scripted programming.

Like soap operas.

If I'm going to watch scandalous behavior and bed-hopping, I, personally, want the illusion of believing it's all pretend....

John and Donna were the first ones at the cemetery. They watched Frankie drop Sharlene off, and waited for her to approach the grave.

"I'm glad you decided to come," John told his ex-wife.

"You asked me to." She shrugged. "You said it was for Gregory. Hello, Donna."

"Hello, Sharlene."

She looked from John to Donna, her face momentarily unreadable. And then, just before stepping aside, Sharlene said, "The two of you look good together. Sure took you long enough."

"No, I — " Donna began. "We're not — "

But Sharlene had already walked away to place a bouquet of wildflowers at the base of her son's headstone.

John's lips twitched. "I don't think Sharlene meant to insult you."

"I wasn't insulted," Donna insisted. "I just didn't want her getting the wrong idea. On the other hand, the fact that she's so obviously jealous of..."

Who said Sharlene is jealous?"
"Why else would she mention it?"


On the first anniversary of Gregory's death, John invites Sharlene, Donna, Alice, Allie, Steven, Jen, GQ and Sarah to the cemetery, leading to heated confrontations, ruffled feathers, tearful confessions, reconciliations, and a revealed secret or two.

Eavesdrop on the fall-out at:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Before Roseanne was officially NUTS, she was just a little wacky (which is what they call people when they are certifiable but still producing a show that makes lots of money).

One of her saner ideas, however, was asking to appear on General Hospital in 1994 (who wouldn't want to do that?). Of course, playing Jennifer Smith, last seen in 1980 as a sweet, demure, shy young woman unaware of her father's mob connections (or the fact that Luke Spencer was only marrying her to keep from being knocked off by said father) was a bit out there. But, see above re: making ABC lots of money.

So whatever Roseanne wanted, Roseanne got.

Check out a clip from the soap below:

Then, in a case of turnabout is fair play (also known as: Why shouldn't we promote our top soap on our top sitcom? Remember back when ABC still cared about its soaps?) Luke and Laura pay a visit to Roseanne...

Monday, August 08, 2011


Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the soap opera actors, writers, producers, journalists and, most especially, fans, who contributed their thoughts to Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments.

As I indicated in Friday's entry, I am regretfully closing submissions today in order to actually buckle down, finish the book, then send it off for editing and, since it's to be an enhanced e-book, formatting and coding.

Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments will be available exclusively on Amazon Digital as of September 19, 2011. You'll be able to read interviews with actors like Eden Riegel, Linda Dano, Hillary B. Smith, Jon Lindstrom, and Lane Davies, writers like Michael Malone and Susan Dansby, producers like Sally Sussman Morina, and many, many more participants of moments that you voted examples of daytime at the very top of its game, then click links that will instantly take you to even more behind the scenes information, not to mention, where available, actual clips of the scenes under discussion!

Can't wait to hear what you all think of this first-of-its-kind project!


Seeing the obvious concern and pain on her face, Lucas gave up trying to deny that Jeanne's report hadn't put them all in danger and instead attempted to reassure Lorna, "The situation is under control. Carl's security — "

"Won't do a damn thing for you, if it comes down to us or them."

"You're wrong. You and Devon, he'll look out for you two."

"Because of Jamie," Lorna guessed, then added bitterly. "I suppose he wouldn't risk Rachel going frigid on him when her son's family ends up murdered on their front lawn." She shook her head and demanded, "Why didn't you warn me, at least? Why did I have to piece this whole thing together on my own?"

"Because you had more than enough on your mind these last few months!"

"These last few months? This has been going on for months?"

"When did you want me to tell you, Lorna? Right when you woke up from your coma? While you were trying to set things right with Jamie? On your wedding day? Maybe in between contractions?"

"Alright. So I've been busy."

"You've been recovering! Jamie warned us about what could happen if you were put under any undue stress. That's why Fanny and I — "

"What? What, Dad? What else have you been doing?"


Lorna demands Lucas quit lying to her, Grant wonders what precisely Sarah wants from him, Alice questions Amanda's claims of happiness, Kirkland explodes at Jamie's interference, Felicia tries to provoke Chase into revealing his true agenda, and Rachel balks at Matt's quickie engagement.

All at:

Thursday, August 04, 2011


In it's final (and, as often happens, weakest) season, my all-time favorite sitcom, SOAP, featured a character named Leslie (Marla Pennington, who went on to greater fame as the mom in Small Wonder), with a tendency to break into rooms shrieking, "This time I'm really going to do it!" threatening to commit suicide in a series of more and more bizarre ways, and always failing spectacularly.

For the last month, I've been saying I'm going to close submissions for Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, but then another great one would come in, and I'd keep it open "just a few days longer."

Well, this time, I'm really going to do it. I have to. As an enhanced e-book, Soap Opera 451 needs to be not just edited like a print work, but also formatted, coded and uploaded in time for a September 2011 publication.

So, this time, I'm really going to do it. This coming Monday, August 8, 2011, is absolutely the last day I can accept your submissions and comments on scenes that show daytime at the very top of it's game. (The ones below are definitely going to be featured in the book, and thus most likely to include your thoughts. But, if you've got others, we're still open to hearing them - for the next few days. No more. I promise, tech guys!)

So far, I can tell you that CarJack (ATWT) fans lead the pack with most memories of their favorites, followed by BJ's heart (GH), Karen on the stand (OLTL), The Slut of Springfield and Otalia (GL).

Are you going to let that record stand?

We want to hear from fans of all the shows! But, it's got to happen now! (E-mail me at!)

Still looking for further comments on:

GH: Stone and Robin
AMC: Bianca comes out to Erica
OLTL: Marty's rape
DARK SHADOWS: Barnabas/Maggie/Josette
PC: Kevin mourns Eve
AMC: Laura's death
OLTL: Bo and Nora's wedding
DOOL: "Roman" sees a presumed dead Marlena alive on the pier
Y&R: David's KILLER plastic surgery, the masquerade ball and death by garbage chute
DOOL: Eileen Davidson plays five different roles - and lives to tell about it!
GL: Olivia and Natalia's romance
Y&R: Dru/Neil/Malcolm and Lily's paternity reveal
EON: Draper's Great Train Escape

"The only person... " Sarah began, "The only person in my entire life I was ever myself with... it was you, Senator."

Grant blinked in surprise, unsure of how to react to that, so he merely smiled and offered, "Should I be honored?"

She shrugged. "Not really. There was no reason to pretend. I didn't want anything from you."

"Oh." Again with the unexpected disappointment. Grant realized that, for a girl her age, if he wasn't a teacher or a boss or someone else with direct influence over her life, he probably didn't even register as a human being. As a man.

"I was talking to a — I guess she's kind of a friend — earlier, and she told me that the best way to stop hating the reflection you see in the mirror was to find the most awesome person you know and try to see yourself through his eyes. That's you."

"I'm the most awesome person you know?" Grant's heart inexplicably skipped a beat. It had been a long while since anyone had paid him a compliment, even a back-handed one.

"You're the only one who's seen the real me."

Which wasn't really an answer to his question. But, beggars couldn't be choosers, so Grant decided to take it, nonetheless. "If you say so, Sarah."

"I do. That's why I came over. I wanted to ask... I wanted to ask, do you... do you... like me, Senator?"


Sarah puts Grant on the spot, Rachel helps Matt temporarily delay Jeanne while Donna asks Cass to help her make the situation permanent, Frankie and Dean trade confessions, Cory and Elizabeth attempt to make sense of their parents' secrets, and Alice reaches out to Marley with a personal challenge.

All at:

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


A fan nominates General Hospital's 1995 Stone and Robin story for inclusion in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments by writing: The Stone and Robin storyline was portrayed so well. Really bringing to light the sadness of the disease.

Do you agree? What are your memories of the above? Please let us know in the Comments, or by writing me directly at:

Other moments still needing comments:

AMC: Bianca comes out to Erica
OLTL: Marty's rape
DARK SHADOWS: Barnabas/Maggie/Josette
PC: Kevin mourns Eve
AMC: Laura's death
OLTL: Bo and Nora's wedding
DOOL: "Roman" sees a presumed dead Marlena alive on the pier
Y&R: David's KILLER plastic surgery, the masquerade ball and death by garbage chute
DOOL: Eileen Davidson plays five different roles - and lives to tell about it!
GL: Olivia and Natalia's romance
Y&R: Dru/Neil/Malcolm and Lily's paternity reveal
EON: Draper's Great Train Escape

Monday, August 01, 2011


Eden Riegel (Heather, Y&R; ex-Bianca, AMC) had this to say to Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments about All My Children's 2000 coming out story:

Audiences already loved and were invested in Erica and her daughter, and went on the journey with Erica as their surrogate. Over time they began to embrace Bianca along with Erica. And soon Bianca was one of the most popular characters on All My Children, even among housewives in middle America who never even met a gay person before. This story is proof positive that soaps have great power not only to tell dramatic, engaging stories, but also to help change hearts and minds.

Read more from Eden when Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments is released this September.

In the meantime, watch the clip below, and please share your memories of this scene, this story, and how it affected you in either the Comments section, or by e-mailing me at

Other moments still needing comments:

OLTL: Marty's rape
DARK SHADOWS: Barnabas/Maggie/Josette
PC: Kevin mourns Eve
AMC: Laura's death
OLTL: Bo and Nora's wedding
DOOL: "Roman" sees a presumed dead Marlena alive on the pier
Y&R: David's KILLER plastic surgery, the masquerade ball and death by garbage chute
DOOL: Eileen Davidson plays five different roles - and lives to tell about it!
GL: Olivia and Natalia's romance
Y&R: Dru/Neil/Malcolm and Lily's paternity reveal
EON: Draper's Great Train Escape


"You're forbidding me, Mary Frances?"

"Yes," Frankie crossed her arms, hoping the tremor in her voice was audible only to her.

"Really?" Cass asked again, his tone not so much challenging as disbelieving.

"I'm asking you," she changed tactics. "I am asking you to do this. For me. Just let this whole thing drop. Charlie and Kirkland will figure it out on their own. We don't need to get involved."

"Clearly Jamie thinks the situation warrants parental interference."

"Jamie micromanages his kids! He's a Frame. It comes naturally."

"You're a Frame."

"Exactly. Which means I know what it's like to have your every move tracked and questioned and criticized. And criticized. And criticized."

"So this is about Emma?" Cass guessed.

"This is about me not wanting to be like Emma. Or for Charlie to feel like she can't tell me anything because, sure as the sun rises, I'll manage to find fault with it. I don't want my daughter going through life convinced she's incapable of making a good decision. I had to trek all the way to the Himalayas to settle if I wanted to take you back after you left me for Kathleen! That's what happens when it's been drilled into you that whatever you do, you'll be wrong — according to your mother, anyway."


Frankie explains herself to Cass, Grant turns to two unlikely sources in a desperate attempt to help Marley, Amanda and Kevin face harsh truths about their daughters, Jeanne puts Matt in an awkward position - twice, and Rachel makes her final decision regarding Carl.

All at: