Friday, June 29, 2012

AS THE WORLD TURNS PHOTO SHOOT 2006 PART #2

Click here for Part #1

As promised, here are more behind the scenes photos from ATWT's 2006 50th Anniversary Photo Shoot!




Thursday, June 28, 2012

MULTIMEDIA GAB FEST

Last night, I talked Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, the 2012 Daytime Emmys (plus all the Emmys I've worked on in the past), Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, As the World Turns and Guiding Light tie-in books, and www.AnotherWorldToday.com with RHeart Radio.

Listen to the entire show below:


Listen to internet radio with RHeart on Blog Talk Radio


Or, if you prefer reading, check out my interview with Writers on Reading:

What is your genre of choice? Has it always been the same?

 “I moved out of kids books pretty early, skipped YA entirely (even as a teen I thought teens were overly sensitive drama queens who didn’t understand what real hardship in life was) and went straight into that most realistic of genres: multi-generational pot-boilers (at least those overly sensitive drama queens earned their angst).

I read women’s fiction through most of high-school, added mystery, but of the Barbara Vine / Jonathan Kellerman variety, basically multi-generational pot-boilers with a dead body to kick things off, in college, went through a brief Mommy Lit phase when my children were younger and finally landed, as I said above, in narrative non-fiction.”

Read the entire thing, here.

ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #164-2

"Lorna saved my life, Matt.” Jamie corrected his brother.

“You mean when you were arrested and – “

“More than that. Before Lorna came along, I wasn’t living, I was existing. I had my job and I had my kids… and I was a miserable, lonely son-of-a-bitch. Lorna didn’t just fall in love with me – although I’m still a little uncertain about how that happened. And she didn’t just allow me to fall in love with her. Lorna made me believe I was worth being loved. That I deserved to be happy, that I deserved to be alive. Lorna did all that, and a lot more that I could never explain to anybody.”

“Wow,” Matt said slowly.

“Sorry,” Jamie blushed. “That was….”

“True?”

“Pretty much,” he conceded. “Feel free now to mock me relentlessly for being a sap, I deserve it.”

“No, man. All that stuff. All that stuff you said, that’s exactly… That’s exactly what I want to be for Donna. What Lorna was to you. What Mac was to Mom. Donna just needs someone to believe in her, you know? She could be a good person, then, I know it.”

“Good luck,” Jamie told his brother sincerely. “I honestly wish you guys the best.”

“You don’t hold it against her?” Matt couldn’t help thinking of the question Donna asked him earlier. “You don’t blame her for Kirk’s kidnapping, the way you blame Carl?”


****

Jamie explains himself to Matt and offers his brother advice on Donna, Sarah drives Grant to the breaking point, Allie makes a stunning offer to GQ, Zeno finds a surprising method for stifling Charlie's whining, Jen suffers a setback, while Rachel and Carl both believe the other has finally come around.

Your turn to tell us what happens next at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2012/2012_164p2.html

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CAN WE TALK?

I'll be talking Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced ebook tonight Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 10 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Pacific on RHeart Radio: The Fans' Voice, and I want to hear from you!  (So does General Hospital's Nathin Butler!)

Call us at 646-200-0145 and tell me which moments you thought were the best of all time!

More information at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rheart/2012/06/28/rheart-alina-adams-emmy-recap-nathin-butler

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW (EMMY'S) FACE...

At the 2012 Daytime Emmy Awards, Anthony Geary, Heather Tom, Nancy Lee Grahn and Jonathan Jackson picked up repeat trophies.

Check out their first trips to the podium, below...

Hee, Luke gets an Emmy from Helena Cassadine...







Monday, June 25, 2012

MY WORLD IN ANOTHER WORLD

Thirteen years ago today, I brought my oldest son home from the hospital - on the day that Another World aired its last episode.  (I confess, it took me a while before I got around to watching it.  Then again, as Linda Dano told me when I interviewed her, she's never watched it!)

Ten years later, when I was working for Procter & Gamble, I began writing Another World Today, picking up the story of Bay City where it left off.

Michael Logan of TV Guide wrote at the time:

Another World Returns FROM TV GUIDE ONLINE
by Michael Logan April 27, 2009 09:33 AM EST 


It’s been 10 years since *Another World* went off the air, but now, thanks to a cool new Web site, the beloved soap is back from the dead. TeleNext Media, producer of *Guiding Light* and *As the World Turns*, is about to launch http://anotherworldtoday.com , a site that fills us in on what’s happened in Bay City since 1999, including which lovebirds are still together (Carl and Rachel, Cass and Lila) and which are kaput (Amanda and Cameron). 

Chapter 1 kicks off May 4 (the 45th anniversary of *AW*’s debut) with Grant Harrison, who was presumed dead at the end of *AW*’s run, returning to town to reclaim his son, Kirkland. Meanwhile, a mystery is unfolding: Flamboyant Felicia Gallant has gone off to New York to visit Dean and Jenna, and all three have somehow vanished. Each weekly installment is interactive, with fans getting the opportunity to vote on the future direction of plots. 

TeleNext’s creative content producer Alina Adams was encouraged to start the blog due to the surprising success of the *AW* replays on hulu.com . “People still have warm, nostalgic feelings for the show,” Adams says. “AW ushered a lot of fans into the world of daytime drama. It was their gateway drug. They miss it and they want more."

The first episode features the last scene of AW.  Watch it in its entirety, here.

The June 25th final episode is also highlighted in my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, with recollections from Dano, Mark Pinter, Judi Evans, Alice Barrett and more.  Check it out on Amazon and B&N!

And if you'd like your own copy of Another World: 35th Anniversary Celebration book, I'm giving them out for free (as long as supplies last), if you'll cover the cost of postage.  Contact me at:  AlinaAdams@gmail.com for details!

ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #164-1

“We are both reasonable men, Jamie," Carl began.  "Intelligent, educated…”

“You once wondered whether I went to medical school, or a veterinary college,” Jamie reminded dryly.

“A feeble attempt at humor, I assure you. Not to mention my well-known high-esteem for the veterinary arts.”

“What do you want, Carl?”

“We both love your mother, then. Surely, that might be a point of agreement between us.”

“I believe that you love Mom,” Jamie conceded.

“Thank you, Jamie.”

“But, that doesn’t change anything.”

“How could it not? Can you think of any greater force on this Earth than – “

“Is your love bullet-proof, Carl?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Will your love protect Mom, Cory, Elizabeth, anyone else unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity the next time your past rears its head?”


****

Carl makes a last ditch attempt to bring Jamie over to his side, Matt attempts to get to the bottom of Donna's peculiar behavior, Charlie attempts to fix matters with Kirkland, Kevin and Amanda attempt to get their marriage back on track, Grant attempts to assuage Lila's guilty conscience, and GQ attempts to make amends with Horace.

Do any of them succeed?  Find out at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2012/2012_164p1.html

Friday, June 22, 2012

DAYTIME EMMY WEEK SPOTLIGHT: EILEEN DAVIDSON (DAYS OF OUR LIVES)

Monday: Julia Barr (Brooke; All My Children)

Tuesday: Linda Dano (Felicia; Another World)

Wednesday: Michael Malone (Headwriter; One Life to Live

Thursday: Susan Dansby (Scriptwriter, As the World Turns)

The rule of thumb in daytime - usually - is: Play a dual role, win an Emmy.

It worked for David Canary.  And Julianne Moore.  And Anne Heche.  And Ellen Wheeler.  And Martha Byrne.

Days of our Lives' Eileen Davidson did not win.  But, then again, she was not playing a dual role.

In 1998, Eileen played Kristin DiMera.  And Susan Banks.  And Sister Mary Moira.  And Penelope.  And Thomas.

For all of whom she received her first Daytime Emmy nomination.

Eileen Davidson: As a lead actress who’d always been known as a dramatic actress, it was just such a hoot for me, and so freeing to just let go and have fun.  I had a tape recorder and I would read the scene and turn it off when the character I was supposed to be talked.  I ran lines that way.  The major way that I knew it was working was because the crew was laughing, and I was laughing, we were cracking up all the time. 

They worked me to death.  I was at the end of my contract, I was going to leave after the first year I played Susan. And they asked me to stay an additional year to finish off the storyline, so I did.  James (Reilly; Headwriter) actually ended apologizing to me at the end of it.  He knew he’d worked me sixteen-hour days, Saturdays, I was really exhausted.  He apologized to me.  He said he couldn’t help it, he felt inspired by me.  He had no reason to apologize, it was a great, great, great thing for me.




Read more from Eileen, Susan, Michael, Linda, Julia, and dozens of other actors, writers, producers, experts and fans in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced ebook, available on Amazon and B&N.

Plus, today is the last day to buy Alina Adams' Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition, and Skate Crime: Multimedia for only $.99 cents as part of the BookLoversBuffet.com promotion.  Prices go back up this weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

DAYTIME EMMY WEEK SPOTLIGHT: SUSAN DANSBY (AS THE WORLD TURNS)

Monday: Julia Barr (Brooke; All My Children)

Tuesday: Linda Dano (Felicia; Another World)

Wednesday: Michael Malone (Headwriter; One Life to Live)

Maura West won the 2007 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress, thanks to Carly and Jack's brutal break-up scenes in 2006.

Emmy-winning script-writer Susan Dansby recalls putting the episode down on paper.

Susan Dansby: I lucked into writing the script where Jack would tell Carly he wanted a divorce.

Hands down, it stands out as my favorite episode ever because it is a perfect example of soap production at its best. I received a splendid breakdown written by Judy Tate, which fostered my script.

What did I add?  The nuances of Carly and Jack's history: Jack's relationship with his mother and father; Jack's amnesia that led him to marry Julia #2; Carly's history of being "saved" by Jack, her constant lies, their kids, the push-pull of their attraction – it was all in there.  Ever a fan, I wrote what I wanted to see.

Then, my script was brilliantly tweaked by editor, Courtney Simon; trimmed around the edges by the producers, superbly directed by Grant Aleksander, and performed by two consummate pros.

To say that Maura and Michael acted that day is like saying a Sequoia is a tree.  Yeah, that's accurate.  But what they did for those of us who loved those characters was gargantuan. By fully committing to each and every beat, they took us through an emotional maelstrom of betrayals, passionate reunions, dreams, disappointments, and the unimaginable – Jack walking out that door… and not turning back.

I shed tears as I wrote that script, but cried buckets as I watched it on air – with joy, admiration and gratitude.  How lucky was I to get to do work I loved surrounded by a creative team that took my best and made it better?  And Maura and Michael?  What can I say?  They're Sequoias
.



Read more from Susan, Michael, Linda, and Julia, plus dozens of other actors, writers, produces, experts and fans at Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced ebook, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.






ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #163-2

"I beg to differ.” The merriment drained out of Chase’s demeanor, and he was matching Rachel rancor for rancor now. “Your husband has violated federal, state, and local law. And he has been doing so ever since the moment he signed his pledge not to.”

“What harm has he done?” Rachel challenged. “I dare you to show me one person who has suffered due to my husband’s allegedly illegal actions.”

“Do you read the papers, Mrs. Hutchins?”

“Religiously. And the only place I’ve seen my husband’s name come up is on the society pages, usually touting charitable donations he’s made or causes he’s supported.”

“That’s because – in stark contrast to the terms of his release – your husband has gone out of his way to place a Wall of China sized barrier between himself and the companies he has continued to run. Meanwhile, those companies, by skirting on the outside of the law, have been colluding to control and manipulate prices, to set up financial cartels and monopolies, and to, no more no less, destabilize a good chunk of the world’s economy. Are you aware of what’s happening in Greece these days? In all of Europe?”

“I should think you’d approve,” Rachel bluffed, unwilling to admit that she didn’t understand precisely what he was accusing Carl of. “Aren’t you a libertarian, Mr. Hamilton? Didn’t you run on a pro-business platform? Whatever happened to your love of capitalism and free markets?”

“The definition of free markets, Mrs. Hutchins, is that they are not being controlled by clandestine, underground forces. They’re free, not artificially manipulated, by either the government, or private entities.”

“You forced my husband underground. If you had only allowed him to hold on to his companies from the start, none of this would have happened. He wouldn’t have needed to resort to illegal measures.”

“You’re right. Except that we didn’t. And he did anyway.”


****

Rachel challenges Chase on her husband's behalf, while Carl gets some food for thought from Elizabeth.  Charlie makes a confession to Zeno, Jen's treatment plan hits a snag, and Marley asks for Sarah's opinion... on Grant.

Who is right and who is wrong?  The vote is yours at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2012/2012_163p2.html

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DAYTIME EMMY WEEK SPOTLIGHT: MICHAEL MALONE (ONE LIFE TO LIVE)

Monday: Julia Barr (Brooke; All My Children)

Tuesday: Linda Dano (Felicia; Another World)

Day Three of our Daytime Emmy spotlight features One Life to Live Headwriter Michael Malone, and the story that brought the show much acclaim, and multiple awards, in 1994.

Michael Malone: Remembering the story, people call it “Marty’s Rape” or “Marty and Todd.” It was a graphic, honest, intensely emotional, extensively researched portrayal of the too-often unreported crime of college rape, in this case a gang rape by three fraternity men. The victim was Marty, a fellow student who already knew them, who had previously had sex with one of them, and who was intoxicated at the time of the rape. The “message” of the story was that none of these circumstances mitigate against the fact that rape is rape and rape is a major crime. The story has had a strong effect both on its creators and on its audience.

The rape was instigated by Todd Manning, a character who had first arrived in story notes as “Frat Boy #1.” Just like Marty, Todd was spoiled, rich, needy and recklessly self-destructive, with a veneer of cynicism over a troubled core. Like her, Todd was a liar. But Marty was known to have lied about Andrew Carpenter and Billy Douglas. So when she cried rape, no one believed her, including Nora Gannon (Hillary B. Smith), the attorney who was defending the accused rapists because she believed them to be innocent.

Susan Haskell, Roger Howarth and Hillary Smith went on to win Emmys for their searing performances in this story. The writers were honored with an Emmy. But our Emmy belongs to the whole company. The community of serial drama is another pleasure of the genre to me. It takes a village of artists to create a soap opera. It’s a daily collaboration among actors, designers, technicians, directors like Jill Mitwell, who so powerfully envisioned the rape episode, producers like Linda Gottlieb, who fought so hard for the integrity of the story. It is also a collaboration with the audience. Soap opera viewers care passionately about story and they don’t hesitate to let you know what they think. (Neither did the readers of Dickens’ novels, also serialized.)



Read more from Michael, Julia, Linda and dozens of other actors, writers, producers, experts and fans in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced ebook, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

And for fans of serialized drama ala Dickens, check out this review of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga on Amazon:

I *love* family sagas. I love Dickens. I love soap operas. I love giving my opinions on anything and everything.  Counterpoint has ALL of this. It is, quite simply, the latest iteration of what Charles Dickens used to do in a serial form in the British newsjournals of the late 19th Century. What makes it even more fun is that now it's electronic and readers get to weigh in on what happens next.  I love cliffhangers and wondering where a story will go-- what is marvelous about Counterpoint is that Alina Adams' fans have a voice in those story decisions.  I, for one, can't WAIT for the next installment! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DAYTIME EMMY WEEK SPOTLIGHT: LINDA DANO (ANOTHER WORLD)

Yesterday, for our Emmy week spotlight, Julia Barr (Brooke; All My Children) took us behind the scenes of her Emmy-winning performance following daughter Laura's death.

Today, it's Linda Dano's turn with Felicia's 1992 alcoholic intervention on Another World.

Linda recalls:

The intervention scenes were difficult to shoot on two levels.  Because both Felicia and I loved everybody in that room, I had to prepare myself for the layers of emotions we had to play.  It was hard to see these friends turns on her – I layered anger on top of what I knew was the right thing for her friends to do.   I knew Felicia very well and I knew this is exactly what she would feel.  To get to that point, I tapped into my childhood and to those moments in my life when I witnessed the extremes of alcoholism, and how violent it can get. 

To make it work over a long period of time, you force yourself to stay in a very interesting place, connected to the emotion and then it’s not hard to reach for it.  I am a very emotional person in real life so I can reach for those emotions when I have well written scenes to play.  I actually like being lost in them and taking the ride along with my character, blowing life into her and her situation.

I also had the good fortune of working with a wonderful team.  During those years, producers, directors and writers had more time to work with characters than they do know.  I also worked with a wonderful cast who supported each other in any way they could.  Especially on Another World, we were a tightly knit group.  My co-stars in this storyline were the best at their craft.  Stephen Schnetzer, Alicia Coppola, John Aprea, Victoria Wyndham should all take equal credit for making this story work as well as it did
.

Read more from Linda, Julia, and a host of other Emmy-winning actors, writers, producers and experts in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced e-book, available on Amazon and B&N.







Monday, June 18, 2012

DAYTIME EMMY WEEK SPOTLIGHT: JULIA BARR (ALL MY CHILDREN)

In honor of Daytime Week (the Tech awards were this past weekend, the main event is this coming Saturday), Soap Opera 451 takes a peek behind the scenes of some past Emmy-winning and Emmy-nominated stories and performances.

First up, All My Children's Julia Barr.

In 1988, Barr won the Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy for Brooke's response to the hit-and-run death of her young daughter, Laura.

Barr recalls:

When I received the actual script for Laura's death, I remember thinking how beautifully sensitive it was.  It made me cry.  It affected all of us.  But we knew that we would be there for each other when the time came to do the scene.

Chris Goutman was the director the day we were to shoot the scene.  He was wonderful and very sensitive to our needs in preparing ourselves. We basically only rehearsed the staging of the scene, which Chris kept very simple and allowed us to do whatever we needed to do, movement-wise, for the emotion of the scene. 

And then it was time to tape.

We did the rehearsal just for movement, so the camera-people could see and know where the cameras had to be.  Chris gave us our acting notes in preparation for taping.  And we began.

The scene was set in Adam's office. Adam and Brooke were both working late at Tempo Magazine.  Adam had a romantic dinner brought in, complete with candles and champagne, as a surprise for Brooke.  In the middle of this romantic moment, Tom enters with the terrible news of their daughter’s death.

The way that scene was written, the freedom as actors that our director gave us to do such an explosive scene and the emotional investment, both as actors and characters, that we all had, gave that scene the impact that it had – and still has.

People have asked, through the years, if it was hard to do those scenes.  I think that we would all agree, as a parent, it was very hard.  As an actor, it was fantastic.


Read the entire interview with Barr, as well as a slew of other Emmy-award winning actors, writers, directors, producers and more in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced ebook, available on Amazon and BN.com.



Coming up tomorrow: Another World's Linda Dano.


ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #163-1

“Isn’t this delicious?” Curled up in bed next to Matt, both of them propped up against the headboard, Donna might have been referring to the breakfast tray spread out in front of them. But, what she really meant was, “The two of us spending all morning together, no need to hide or sneak around. Just heavenly.”

“You know what would make it more perfect?” Matt murmured into her neck.

“Hmmm…?”

He reached across his own lap onto hers. “If I could just have a taste of that bacon – “

She slapped his hand away, all but throwing herself bodily across the offending side-dish in an attempt to prevent Matt from making a terrible mistake. “Absolutely not!”

“Oh, come on, Donna. This oatmeal,” he raised his spoon sluggishly, letting the gray mush slowly rain down back into his plate. “Is pretty tasteless.”

“It was on the list of approved foods,” she reminded primly.

“For Devil’s Island, maybe.”

“How do you expect to recover if you don’t follow doctor’s orders?”

“It’s all an evil plot. Jamie is just getting back at me.”

“For what?”

“Being born.”

Donna bit her lower lip, thinking for a moment. “Are you sure you don’t mean… for marrying me?”


****

Donna and Matt each manage to stun the other, as do Cass and Frankie (but not in the same ways).  Jamie reminds Lorna of what's truly important, Felicia vents her frustration with Lucas, Kevin insists Horace live up to his promises, while Rachel swears to fight for Carl.

The world keeps spinning at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2012/2012_163p1.html

Friday, June 15, 2012

YOUR STORY

As the person who relaunched Another World Today for PGP in 2009 and wrote Mindy's Twitter for them after Guiding Light went off the air, I, not surprisingly, approve of the way Dallas has been brought back to TV.

It wasn't a reboot, it wasn't a re-imagining, it was a straight up continuation of the original series (though, I think the kids' ages are a little off.  John Ross was born in 1979, and Christopher in 1981.  They should be in their 30s.  Maybe it was the acting or the writing or both, but they came off more as mid-20s to me.  Then again, nobody said it was 2012, did they?)

It looks like other than Bobby's remarriage, Miss Ellie's death (Clayton's, too, presumably?), and JR's breakdown (a result of his suicide attempt in the last episode? The reunion movies are not to be counted as cannon, I hear, though, who knows?) nothing much has changed at Southfork.

Though, those of us who were hard-core fans - and are into that sort of thing - have probably given some thought to what may have transpired over the past almost two decades.

That's one of the many awesome things about soaps.  Daily (or, in the case of prime-time, weekly) viewing of evolution and growth for years at a time allows the characters to continue living on in our imaginations even after the show goes off the air.

When I first launched Another World Today, a viewer wrote me to say that my story didn't match the fan fiction she'd written a few years before.

While there's nothing I could do about that, I am trying to rectify a similar situation with my newest book series, Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga.

Volume One of my original, multi-generational, romantic, soapy story (A wealthy family with secrets! Star-crossed lovers! Scheming villains!) ended on a cliff-hanger - that I am asking readers to help me resolve.

So far, one poster on the Alina Adams Media Facebook page has written:

I think the story has gotten off to a good start, I like the leads and am interested in what happens next without a clue what should happen next, probably just too early in the overall story. I do think the story needs to develop a larger supporting cast as the story builds.

While another, on the Soap Opera 451 Message Board suggests:

We have to know that Robin leaves Victoria's apartment, but realizes that Victoria was forced to say what she did . . . it may take him a while to figure it out but he figures out that Nicole is at the bottom of it! I loved the interaction with Nicole and Gabriel, but Nicole can't win!

Adding more detail on Facebook:


I just finished reading Volume 1 of "Counterpoint" and loved it. It had a great combination of romance and intrigue, and I loved the interaction between Robin and Victoria. Although I found it ironic that Nicole ended up in Gabriel.s life, I hated what she did to Gabriel. He did not deserve that, but then her interference in Robin and Victoria's life was also very undeserved, but expected!! I am sure that Robin will realize that it was Nicole who made Victoria say what she did, and Nicole gets what she deserves (which is not a life with Gabriel!!). I am looking forward to getting the next volume, to see how everything comes out!!


Wand to join in the fun and help develop a brand new soap opera from the ground up?  One which takes your feedback into consideration, so that what happens next is up to you?


Then please check out Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga on Amazon at this link.


The book is only $.99 cents through Friday, June 22 as part of the Book Lovers Buffet Summer Reading Special!

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

AS THE WORLD TURNS PHOTO SHOOT 2006

While going through some personal snapshots, I found a bunch of pictures I took behind the scenes of As the World Turns' 50th Anniversary photo shoot in 2006.  Will post a few at a time.  Enjoy!






ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #162-2

“That reminds me,” Felicia reached into her purse, pulling out a small box with a ribbon on top and heading towards Devon. “I actually have a present for the new big sister.”

Devon reached eagerly for her gift, while Lorna, with just the slightest touch of surprise in her voice, told Felicia, hovering above them both, “That was very thoughtful of you.”

“I know how hard it can be for new sisters to share the spotlight,” Felicia reminded with the hint of a smile. “I thought Devon would appreciate a bit of extra attention.”

“We all appreciate it, Felicia,” Jamie said, helping his daughter unwrap her gift.

“Ooh!” Devon hummed, pulling out a necklace with a tiny, shiny, silver coin dangling off the end.

“Is that…” Lucas began.

Felicia nodded. “It’s a Mercury dime. Just like the one you gave Lorna when she was born, the one she wears as a ring. I had an identical copy made into necklace.”


****

Felicia's gesture opens up a host of interpretations, Lorna and Jamie name their new baby, Dean gets more than he bargained for from Matt, Horace finally gets to see Jen, and Rachel reveals the decision you helped her make to Carl!

Find out at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2012/2012_162p2.html

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

THE COLOR OF DAYTIME

Updated to add:

June 12, 2012 was the 45th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, which struck down the ban against interracial marriage in the United States.

Currently, a record 1 in 12 marriages in the US - some 4.8 million - are classified as interracial.

According to a Pew Report: More than 25 percent of Hispanics and Asians who married in 2010 had a spouse of a different race. That's compared to 17.1 percent of blacks and 9.4 percent of whites. Of the 275,500 new interracial marriages in 2010, 43 percent were white-Hispanic couples, 14.4 percent were white-Asian, 11.9 percent were white-black, and the remainder were other combinations.

When it comes to daytime (what's left of it, anyway), Hispanic and Asian characters are so rare as to be nearly negligible.  African-Americans representation is slightly better.

Below is our 2008 report on the history of Black-White relationships in soaps.
 
Originally published July 15, 2008

THE COLOR OF DAYTIME

The last thing a man newly interested in running for public office needs is a wife who is involved with another man. Or maybe the really, really last thing a man newly interested in running for public office needs is a wife who is involved with another man who also happens to be Black.

Yet Guiding Light's Bill Lewis, who is so furious about new wife Ava's friendship with Remy Boudreau that yesterday he took his anger out on an innocent pizza, seems utterly oblivious to Remy's skin tone and what that could mean for Bill's ambitions.



Ava and Remy don't appear to notice the melanin differential, either.

But this sort of color-blindness wasn't always the norm in daytime.

In 1962, the short-lived PGP soap, A Brighter Day, made history by hiring the first African-American series regular, actor Rex Ingram. The show was promptly canceled that September due to low ratings.

In 1966, Guiding Light hired daytime's first African-American contract players, Billy Dee Williams and Cecily Tyson. The roles were later recast with James Earl Jones and Ruby Dee. Jones also appeared that same year on As The World Turns.

Two years later, OLTL made headlines with the story of an African-American woman, played by light-skinned actress Ellen Holly, who was passing for White. It appeared that the character was involved in an interracial love affair with a Black man, but that turned out not to be the case once her true ethnicity was revealed.

In 1975, Days of Our Lives dipped a toe in the interracial romance waters by introducing the African-American Grant family. David Baninng had turned his back on his mother, Julie, and sought refuge with the Grants, falling, along the way, for their daughter, Valerie.

Actress Tina Andrews told JanuaryMagazine.com:

According to Andrews, over the course of two years, the character became so popular that the "powers-that-be decided to make our story more mainstream by introducing my character to the son of the lead white female character on the show. There was such wonderful chemistry between Valerie and David Banning, played by actor Richard Guthrie, that the writers slowly developed an interracial relationship between the two"...(A)s the relationship between Valerie Grant and David Banning heated up, her fan mail bottomed out, going from "100 per cent positive" to largely negative and hostile. Valerie Grant's character was shipped off to Stockholm and Andrews was canned.

In 1987, GH scion Tom Hardy renewed a relationship with former girlfriend Simone. He was white, she was Black and that seemed to be the gist of their character development. The relationship was never front-burner and seemed to attract only perfunctory racism from the usual suspects, as if to remind viewers that something allegedly controversial was, in fact, happening.

The good people of Oakdale were a bit more vocal about their disapproval when Duncan and Jessica married in 1992.

Duncan's grown daughter, Beatrice, and Jessica's parents opposed the union and didn't attend the McKechnies wedding. Jessica's good friend, Lisa, also argued against it. (Presumably, if Lisa could waltz down the aisle eight times and still stay within her race, why couldn't Jessica?) Fortunately, the power of Duncan and Jessica's daughter Bonnie's cuteness was enough to bring the nay-sayers around.

It's interesting to note that, up to this point, all of the couplings had been of the White Man/Black woman variety, a combination that is considered more acceptable to the viewing audience. (The OLTL example doesn't count, as Carla was eventually revealed to be Black, as well). The one time, in 1982, when it looked like soaps might buck this trend was when All My Children's Jenny and Jesse went on the run to New York City. The summer storyline proved so popular that AMC was even able to unseat GH from its #1 rating spot for a few weeks. And actors Kim Delaney and Darnell Williams were so young and beautiful it seemed impossible to believe such chemistry would or even could be ignored.

It was. Jenny continued pining for Greg and Jesse stayed true to Angie.

Almost seventeen years later, the new #1 show, Y&R, gave the riskier coupling another shot, pairing morose rich-girl Victoria with upstanding corporate executive, Neil.

Actor Kristoff St. John told Soap Opera Weekly:

Since the rather impetuous start of this interracial romance, viewers have deluged the show with negative mail. St. John says some of it has even arrived at his home tucked between the gas bill and coupons...

"Y&R has chosen not to make an issue out of the color line. My first impression was, that's good," St. John says. "After living in the storyline for a few months, I think it's almost their duty to say something about it now through some character. Bring it to the table - this racism - if we're getting this kind of mail. Let someone say, 'I don't agree with this relationship because you're black and she's white.'

"I've got mixed feelings about it, I really do. I'm treading a fine line of loving it and really hating it. I'm appreciative of the work and of coming to work. I'm appreciating the challenge of the storyline. I don't mind pissing off some people, but in a palatable way. This is the biggest horse pill in quite a while for this show."
The story was shuttled soon after.
(Seven years earlier, in 1992, OLTL viewers met Nora, a Jewish attorney divorced from African-American Hank. But their relationship was long severed by the time the Gannons settled in Llanview. In 1994, Another World's Felicia had a brief romance with her African-American editor, Marshall, but it was over and done with in the blink of an eye.)


In the 21st century, race wasn't much of an issue when Mel and Rick married on GL, or when Amber cheated on her teen husband with Usher on B&B. And Passions' Julian and Eve had so many... unique... problems (sociopath transgendered child? Severed penis? Demons in a closet?) that race, in comparison, didn't loom particularly important. It doesn't appear to be playing much of a role in the romance of Y&R's Lily and Cane, either. Though, again, all are pairings of Black women with white men.

These days, B&B is suggesting that we might see biracial Marcus with Steffy. (Personally, I am much more disturbed by the incestuous overtones of that relationship rather than by their skin tones. And that the actor playing Marcus is 27 if you believe Wikipedia, and 32(!) if you go by IMDB.com.)

So considering daytime's spotty history with interracial relationships, do you believe that Remy and Ava have a chance on GL?

Let us know in the Comments below.

(The above is not intended to be a comprehensive list of every interracial pairing ever attempted on soaps -- for instance, I deliberately left out AMC's wildly popular Noah and Julia, because Sydney Penny was playing a Hispanic woman, not a white one; which is somehow believed to be more palatable -- just a broad overview. Please let us know which other storylines you've liked -- or disliked -- over the years!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Updated to add: Congratulations to Judith Light on her 2012 Tony win!
 
Originally published on 11/7/11

SEEING THE LIGHT

Last week, the soap opera rumor mill was churning with speculation regarding whether or not Judith Light would reprise her iconic role as Karen Wolek on One Life to Live before the series went off the air on ABC in January 2012.

For a while the answer seemed to be yes. Currently, it appears to stand at no.

Nevertheless, I wanted to take a moment to honor the actress who, when I was compiling nominations for Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, inspired kudos not only from soap fans:

The thing about soap opera is that it's the relationships and small moments that matter. That's why, when the "big moments" happen, they mean so much more. Something like Karen Wolek on the stand. Unless you followed her story – all the moments of anguish, self-hatred, loathing, etc... – the moment when she testified to save a friend wouldn't have as much meaning.

And soap journalists:

Mimi Torchin: Judith Light won the 1980 Daytime Emmy for Lead Actress for this scene and no matter how successful she has become (she was nominated for a Tony Award in 2011 for her role in Lombardi), this scene will be remembered as HER most memorable moment by everyone who witnessed it, no pun intended.

But also her follow actors:

Linda Dano: I believe you can get a certain actor who is filled with emotion or is digging deep, and you can walk by your TV and, I swear to you, that actor will stop you dead in your tracks, and you’ll find yourself sitting down and watching. I think that some performance in daytime – not all, but some – is as good as it gets.

Judith Light is currently appearing in Other Desert Cities on Broadway, alongside Stockard Channing and Stacey Keach. Read an interview with the cast, here.

And please check out Judith Light's Intimate Portrait, the part that addresses One Life to Live, below:

Monday, June 11, 2012

READ THE REVIEW, BUY THE BOOK - IT'S ON SALE!

Thank you to the latest reader to offer this review of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga on Amazon:

Loved the first volume of Counterpoint and can't wait for Volume 2 to come out! The characters come alive within the first chapter, and I found it very hard to put the book down between chapters! The story is filled with both excitement and mystery! 

Read the entire thing, along with others, here.

Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga is usually $2.99.  However, as part of a Summer Reading promotion at: http://bookloversbuffet.com/ it, along with When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition, Skate Crime: Multimedia and over 150 other romance titles ranging from contemporary to historical to YA to romantic suspense to erotica, are all on sale for only $.99 cents through June 22. 

Check it out!

ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #162-1

“I’ve made my peace with never having a biological child.” Marley took a deep breath and asked Grant the one question she’d been terrified of hearing the answer to ever since they’d exchanged vows – and even before. “What about you?”

He blinked. “What about me?”

“Are you alright with never having another biological child of your own?”

Despite being initially sorry, Grant now wished more than anything they could go back to their previous topic of conversation. “I… Marley, I… “

“Have a great many more options than I do in that arena.”

“Honestly, it never occurred to me to – “

“I don’t believe you,” she said simply. “Somewhere in the back of your mind, though more likely right at the front, you must have at least considered the possibility of getting married again, having another child. One you’d actually get to raise, this time.”


****

Marley confronts Grant regarding their marriage's greatest obstacle, Cass challenges Frankie to turn words into actions, Jen's father puts conditions on his generosity, Zeno calls Charlie on her behavior, Donna suspects Jeanne of a new plot, and Carl asks Rachel to make a shattering choice.

You make Rachel's mind up for her at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2012/2012_162p1.html

Friday, June 08, 2012

HUGE ROMANCE BOOK SALE!

As I've mentioned before, "trashy, summer read type books" are my favorite kind.  (Yes, I read literature.  Year round as a matter of fact.  I'm very proud of my eclectic interests.  Side note: I first heard the word eclectic on Santa Barbara.  From Mason.  I looked it up and have been using it ever since.  Soaps are very educational.)

Anyway, back to summer reading.

I am very excited to announce that, starting today, both When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition, and Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga have been reduced in price (through June 22) from $2.99 to only $.99 cents!  What a bargain!

And that's not all.  The books are part of a Book Lovers Buffet along with over 150 other romance titles, ranging from Young Adult to Contemporary to Erotica.  (Would this be a good time to mention that when I was a young adult, I totally eschewed YA lit and headed straight for the contemporary romances, family sagas... and erotica?)

There are some Romantic Suspense and Mystery titles, as well, including my own Skate Crime: Multimedia, featuring an interracial romance... on ice!

How excited are we authors to be offering readers this amazing discount?

So excited, we made a video!



Watch it, love it, buy it, read it!

All of the titles are $.99 cents for a limited time only.  Don't miss out!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

A TRIBUTE FROM SOAP OPERA 451 FOR THE AUTHOR OF FAHRENHEIT 451

Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, among many other classic novels, died yesterday at the age of 91.  (His daughter, Bettina Bradbury, btw, has written for Days of Our Lives, All My Children, and Santa Barbara).

When it came time to switch this blog from the officially sanctioned PGP Classic Soaps to a more personal title, I chose Soap Opera 451 (for both the blog and the book that grew out of it - see sidebar) for a very specific reason.

At the end of Fahrenheit 451, when civilization has more or less been destroyed, a group of outcasts gathers in the woods, hiding out from the police with a single purpose in mind: To memorize as many books as they can (classics and pot-boilers and everything in between) so that, when the madness of destroying books is over, they can rebuild.

"And when they ask us what we're doing, we can say, We're remembering."

That was how, in the Fall of 2010, I felt about soaps.  The great ones, the awful ones (and let's admit it, there were some), and everything in between were being systematically destroyed (my son asks, "Tell me about those shows that people like to pretend never existed, Mommy.")  And there was very little most of us could do - except for remembering.

This way, when the pendulum swings away from reality shows and talk shows and other "non-scripted" programming, we'll still be here to rebuild.

Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments features interviews with the actors, writers, producers and directors who created the scenes fans still remember years after the fact.  They explain how it should be done.

Thank you, Ray Bradbury, for demonstrating that it could be done.

ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #161-2

“Is Chase Hamilton telling the truth, Carl?” Not waiting for him to come to her, Rachel had, this time, descended upon her husband’s pied-a-terre, wasting no time in filling him in regarding what Lila had said, and demanding answers.

“The odds of such a feat are slim, indeed.”

Except that Rachel was in no mood for clever word games. “Did you or did you not violate the terms of your pardon agreement?”

He considered her question, then countered most reasonably, “What did you expect me to do, Rachel? Under such punitive conditions as the ones I was offered – no, coerced into accepting; what was I left to live on? Raise my children on?”

“Damn it, Carl!” Rachel exploded. “Are you seriously telling me you thought I wouldn’t be able to provide for all of us?”

“Support my own flesh-and-blood on alms from your previous husband? Inconceivable! What sort of man do you take me for?”

“An honorable man,” Rachel spat. “That’s who I took you for. And I’m starting to feel like a fool over it.”


***

Rachel attempts to come to terms with what she's learned about Carl while Lila struggles to deal with her own role in his downfall.  Jasmine demands answers from Donna and Matt, Jamie reveals the results of Horace's DNA test, Kirkland and Charlie ponder the future, as do Frankie and Cass.

All at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2012/2012_161p2.html

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

ROMANCE REVIEWED

Thank you to everyone who downloaded a FREE copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga from Amazon on Monday and Tuesday.  Today, Wednesday, is the last day to order it for free, so hurry and get yours before time runs out!

Because of you, my original romantic series hit #5 on the Saga best-seller list, and broke the Top 100 in Contemporary Romance!  Can we make it to #1 before end of day?  I'm counting on you! ;)

Even more gratifying were the reviews and letters I received.

CKSWWarriorQueen wrote on Amazon:

I *love* family sagas. I love Dickens. I love soap operas. I love giving my opinions on anything and everything.  Counterpoint has ALL of this. It is, quite simply, the latest iteration of what Charles Dickens used to do in a serial form in the British newsjournals of the late 19th Century. What makes it even more fun is that now it's electronic and readers get to weigh in on what happens next.  I love cliffhangers and wondering where a story will go-- what is marvelous about Counterpoint is that Alina Adams' fans have a voice in those story decisions.  I, for one, can't WAIT for the next installment! 

Meanwhile, another reader wrote by e-mail: 

I got a copy of your book from Amazon, for my Kindle, and thought I’d read a few pages . . . I was unable to put it down before I had read FIVE Chapters. . . . . I loved it!

While a second added:

I love it so far!  Only had a few hours of reading time so I only got to chapter 25, but I am so looking forward to finishing the volume!

My readers are the best, I just can't thank you enough!  (And I can't wait to hear what you think should happen next!)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

WHY DON'T ALL GREAT BOOKS HAVE SEQUELS?


If I were Margaret Mitchell, the first thing I’d have done after the runaway success of “Gone With the Wind” (okay, the second; the first would have been to hire a cleaning lady, the indulgence I currently dream of), the second thing I would have done is write a sequel.

And not just for the money (though, you know, good cleaning ladies don’t come cheap).  In fact, it wouldn’t have been for the money, at all.  It would have been because, as a reader and as a writer, once I fall in love with a set of characters, I want to know what happens to them next.

I suppose it’s my background of watching – and working in – soap operas.  There’s always a what happens next in soap operas (well, at least until an actor decides to leave the show, or that they can’t stand their leading man another minute – but, even then, a new face on an old character can sometimes still keep the story going.  But, I digress).

Why can’t books be the same way?

I want to know what happened to Scarlett and Rhett after the door slam heard ‘round Atlanta.  I want to know the fate of Anna Karenina’s children, and whether the second Mrs. De Winter ever wised up and left her wife-killer husband, and especially how Wesley and the Princess Bride managed to keep their mutual promise never to die first (I have very eclectic tastes in literature).

Read my entire guest blog on the subject at Darlene's Book Nook, and make sure to leave a comment!

Monday, June 04, 2012

GET A FREE BOOK, LAUNCH A NEW SOAP...

COUNTERPOINT: AN INTERACTIVE FAMILY SAGA IS NOW FREE ON AMAZON!  CLICK THE LINK AND GET YOURS NOW!  THREE DAYS ONLY

***

Last week, I chatted with BuzzWorthy Radio about a number of soapy topics: My book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, the future of soaps in mediums other than television, and my latest project, Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga.  (Listen to the whole thing at: http://www.buzzworthyradio.net/podcasts/belladams.mp3)

The idea behind Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga is that, like Another World Today and Mindy's Twitter, both of which I developed while working at P&G, Counterpoint: A Family Saga will be reader directed.  At the end of Volume One, there is a link to the Soap Opera 451 Message Board, and the Alina Adams Media Facebook page, where readers can tell me where they want the story to go next.  I will incorporate your suggestions into Volume Two, and then ask for more suggestions.  Which will be incorporated into Volume Three, and so on and so on and so on.

Once the story has gotten started, it has the potential to be filmed and turned into a series.  In other words, it will be a soap opera that you helped write and develop.

And now for some really great news, starting at midnight on Monday, June 4, Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) will be absolutely FREE on Amazon until Wednesday, June 6.

I wanted you all to be the first to hear about it, for a variety of reasons.

1) The people who've been so supportive of me, this blog, Another World Today, @Fan_Write_GL, my ATWT and GL tie-in books, my figure skating mysteries and more, definitely deserve first crack at any free stuff I have to offer.  Thanks so much, guys, I couldn't have done it without you.

2) Please download a copy for yourself, and then spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs, soap sites, etc... to help as many people as possible get their free copy, as well.  (I not only love you, I love your family and friends)!

3) The more people who download Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga during its free days, the higher the book will climb in the Amazon rankings, the better to show the power and sheer number of soap fans.  Always a good thing.

4) And finally, loyal soap fans and readers are exactly the people who I want to help me tell the story of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga.  Not only do I want to hear (and incorporate) your ideas (you're soap fans, I know you've got them!), but I want you to show others how it's done!

Thanks so much for your help and generosity - looking forward to working with you! :) :) :)

ANOTHER WORLD TODAY EPISODE #161-1


“Chase is spying on Carl,” Lila said simply. “It was the only way he could get access.”

“You made this possible, Lila?”

“Yes.” Her reply was part apology, part bravado.

“Why?” was all Rachel could ask again, dumbstruck.

“Because. Chase convinced me that as long as Carl continued to associate with people from his past, we were all at risk for another kidnapping like Kirkland’s. Another death like Spencer’s. He told me that anyone with an axe to grind against Carl wouldn’t give a damn about who they might have to use in order to get to him. It could be you. It could be Elizabeth or Cory. It could be Jasmine.”

“Carl would never, ever let any harm come to Jasmine!”

“He couldn’t protect Kirkland.”

“That was Spencer’s incompetence, not Carl’s.”

Lila shrugged. “I hoped Chase wouldn’t find anything. I really did. I thought by letting him in to look around to his heart’s content, he’d realize Carl wasn’t a danger to anybody. And he’d give up hounding him. I thought I could help everyone.”


****

Lila pleads her case to Rachel, who later is forced to welcome Donna.  Jen plays referee between Steven and GQ, Frankie whips out the one argument Zeno can't counter, Alice offers Lucas advice, and Marley wants to know about the new man in Sarah's life.

Should Sarah tell all?  Make your voice heard at: http://www.anotherworldtoday.com/2012/2012_161p1.html