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All My Children

ABC Daytime's Brian Frons relates, "Outcry by fans over canceled soaps proves network did a good job for 40-plus years!"

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

During the Television Critics Association’s Sunday session, ABC Daytime president Brian Frons spoke privately with Deadline.com at a luncheon discussing his new show The Chew.  And, when the matter of  the public outcry from soap fans across the board on ABC’s decision to ax One Life to Live and All My Children came into question, Frons responded by saying that, “We actually did a good job (promoting and nurturing them) for all of these last 40 years. I think we’ve spent 40-plus years trying to keep the soap-opera audience happy. So in an odd way, (the outcry) is actually good. It’s just sad that we don’t have a solution.”

Later in the conversation, Frons and Deadline discussed the Prospect Park deal and how it affected production of both canceled shows to shore up their series before it goes off network television, but not to completely end it! Frons told Deadline that after the Prospect Park deal fell into place, All My Children‘s producers were forced to scramble to make the series ending more open-ended rather than final, since the series would now be continuing on after all. He added that the cancellations became necessary due to diminishing returns at the network. “We were at that point where we had to sit and look at what we were doing, and see if there were different opportunities for us in terms of serving a bigger audience. We looked at what was happening on cable — in the food space, the lifestyle space, the talk space, the reality space — and we just saw a very large audience and an opportunity.”

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According to Deadline, “During a panel session promoting The Chew before lunch, a critic asked executive producer Gordon Elliott if he was worried about the online movement to boycott his show. The gregarious Aussie replied, “Look, I completely understand how the viewers feel, and I enjoyed those soaps too. But I don’t control the process that made that change. And while I’m sympathetic, I’m also greatly relieved to hear the shows are moving online. I hope the (fans of the shows) give us a break, and if they sit down for five minutes (and watch), they’ll really enjoy us.” Co-host Clinton Kelly was then moved to add, “I’d just like to go on the record that I love Susan Lucci so much. I think she’s fabulous.”

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Appleridge
Appleridge

Once Again Brian Frons Proves He Has No Idea What Fans Want

Eileen_NYC
Eileen_NYC

Agreed but once again he does not give a crap, he is beyond egotiscal .

Brynda
Brynda

Brian you are an idiot!

david
david

He’s an idiot who doesn’t realize the statement is a non sequitur.

Richard
Richard

We will not watch your crap shows. The Chew !!!! Huh, More like “The Puke”. If i want to watch a cooking show, there’s an entire cable network, dedicated to cooking shows. Your not a very smart business man to throw away a gold mine. Too bad you were not more creative, maybe you’ve been with the network too long. Maybe a younger, more in touch person could have made AMC and OLTL a shining Jewels that they are.

I Have not watched ABC since your announcement and won’t, No Disney, No ABC. Tell me your not feeling the pressure and if you say your not, your a liar. Which we all know you are !!!!

Long Live AMC !!! Long Live One Live to Live !!!!

Lisa
Lisa

i wholeheartedly agree. those shows have their own channels. i want to watch soaps . where do i go to watch a soap now? where’s my soap channel abc? oh u took it.i knew something was happening a few years ago when they cancelled super soap weekend a huge moneymaker. i HATE BRIAN FRONS and will not give any of his replacement shows a chance. CHEW ON THAT

Susan M.
Susan M.

Keep OLTL on ABC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!There is still time..Come on SOAP FANS of OLTL let’s band together and FIGHt to KEEP OLTL ON ABC!!!!!!!! Let’s be as annoying as possible…………. OLTL FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kenzie
Kenzie

I hate this guy and I hope he burns in hell I love one life to live I’ve been watching it for a year now im 13 and he’s taken the soaps and the soap channel away how am I suppose to watch soaps and what if news interrupts the soaps and I won’t be able to see what happened cause their getting rid of soap net soo Brian I hope your whole life falls apart and the new shows get horrible ratings

Lisa
Lisa

kenzie. at least brian frons was FIRED from ABC….Lisa

Torrey
Torrey

The problem with AMC was pretty evident. It goes by the name Charles Pratt…..you kept him at the helm of AMC 2 years longer than he should have been. And once you write a show into the ground, it’s hard to come back from that. As far as your decision to cancel OLTL….I’m still scratching my head in confusion on that one. There are two cable networks dedicated to Food…FoodNetwork and Cooking Channel….if I have any desire to get connected with food, those are the channels I turn to. I don’t know what makes you think we need another entertainment-food-reality-lifestyle type program on ABC…the industry is already saturated with shows like that. I agree with the comment before, maybe you’ve been in charge for too long and have lost touch with your audience…that’s pretty obvious. I am so hoping that Prospect Park finds a cable network home for AMC & OLTL….and may the ratings take off….then ABC will see the only cancellation they should have made is your contract with their network!! Just face it Brian….the fans aren’t buying your lies anymore, and good luck if you think that any of us are going to watch The Chew. No matter how many promos you run for the show, I will never watch. I will gladly turn to The Barefoot Contessa, while The Chew is on. And just so you know, every time I’m watching OLTL and I see that stupid promo for that show, it just makes me more angry. Not a good idea to promote that show so heavy during AMC & OLTL, because you remind us all what you are replacing our favorite shows with…..a crappy show that I hope gets cancelled within three months time.

Vikki
Vikki

I agree when i see the commercials, I actually started dvr’ing DOOL to watch once OLTL is gone, and I can watch news/Bold and Beautiful when AMC was on which i bet a lot will do and give the competition the ratings.

Lisa
Lisa

agree

Takeitish
Takeitish

What an Ass-Hat!

Lisa
Lisa

true

Tali
Tali

“And just so you know, every time I’m watching OLTL and I see that stupid promo for that show, it just makes me more angry. Not a good idea to promote that show so heavy during AMC & OLTL…”

I wholeheartedly agree with this Torrey. It makes me angry too. Once One Life to Live is no longer being broadcast on ABC in January, I will not have ABC on during the day in my home. Throwing out a 40 year old generational audience? Brian chews.

reed
reed

How dare Frons take credit for 40 years of AMC? He has no idea what he’s talking about as usual. He drove AMC into the ground with his constant meddling. Right now, AMC is the best its been in years without his meddling. go figure. As far as the chew goes, I highly doubt anyone will watch. May AMC ratings online be 3 times what they were at ABC, that way ABC can see what they gave up.

Vikki
Vikki

Not only did he take credit he thinks it is a GOOD thing the fans are so angry, I do agree he needs to be cancelled from his job, the guy has no clue. Who is going to DVR or TIVO a cooking show???

I have a feeling he will not cancel the new shows very quick just to try to prove he was not wrong cancelling the soaps

Jillian
Jillian

I think we should tie up Brian Frons and make him watch EVERY episode of the Chew, aka, the puke. I hate it when the “suits” don’t bother to step into the shoes of the viewers. Robin Strasser was right, Brian, u suck!

Kenzie
Kenzie

I agree he’s a jackass and how dare Clinton Kelly say we should just watch the new shows umm son of a bitch I’m not gonna watch ur stupid show I wanna watch my soaps

ethel
ethel

brian frons is still an @$$!!!
i will not watch any abc daytime after the soaps leave!!

dinah
dinah

I will NEVER watch The Chew, can’t wait both Frons/ABC choke on it!!

Kenzie
Kenzie

Me either I hope Brian’s life really goes down the toilet and I hope he rots in hell where he came from

Susan
Susan

Brian Frons is an idiot. He says he listened to what the viewers wanted, but we know it’s not true. If he had, AMC and OLTL wouldn’t have sold to Prospect Park. I will not be watching any of ABC’s replacement shows. Just not interested.

KESM
KESM

This guy just spins, spins, spins! So the outcry means he did a good job? Really?Just sad. OLTl was ,u first soap. Watched it when Gillian Spencer was Vicky, then for several years with my mom. Through the Judith Light/Jameson Parker Karen Wolek/Brad Vernon years. Watched AMC 04-06. I feel for the fans that stuck with the shows and are watching now. Just sad to see the ABC line up go down.

Liz
Liz

It’s hard to believe he looked around and saw what everyone else was doing, and decided the solution was to… DO WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING.

I wonder how deep the discussion was about the relative merits of saturation vs over saturation.

todd
todd

Clinton Kelly’s pandering by saying “I love Susan Lucci. I think she is fabulous” is disgusting. It seems he watched the last Daytime Emmy broadcast and learned that Susan Lucci is the only actress worth mentioning. AMC is a well rounded group of talented actors and actresses that deserve a more well thought statement than he gave. I will never tune in to that show or The Revolution, and I will be telling all of my friends not to watch it as well. OLTL is on fire, always under budget, and now top of the ratings for ABC. How is that not a viable soap? Frons and crew are delusional and gravely mistaken if they think any soap fan is going to tune in to ABC Daytime again.

Kenzie
Kenzie

I totally agree I mean really ” I think she’s fabulous” what a SOB and there isn’t even enough words to describe how much I hate brian

boes
boes

There must be a hell – there just must be – because people like Frons really deserve it.
This ass couldn’t tell the truth if his thong depended on it.

And as for Clinton Kelley, I actually like the guy. It’s nice that he thinks Susan Lucci is “fabulous”. I doubt she returns the sentiment, though. And Clinton better be careful. I don’t know if there’s room in Frons’ hot tub for him, and Cam Mat, Budig, Lavosier and Fath. Gettin a little crowded.

Whatever happened to “silence is golden”? None of them help their case the minute they open their mouth.

Mims
Mims

Frons, please drink the Kool-Aid. What a clueless asshole.

mike
mike

He will be unemployed by years end.

Lisa
Lisa

where do i vote?

JustSaying
JustSaying

“we had to sit and look at what we were doing, and see if there were different opportunities… We looked at what was happening on cable”

Cable shows, really? Those were your opportunities?

The easiest thing you could have done is change the shows to a half hour format. Like the way The Bold and The Beautiful is. Not only would it save money, it would have helped preserve the genre.

Or how about a weekend showing like Friday – Sunday. If you can’t show them 5 days a week, how about 3 days a week?

I see how hard ABC/Disney really tried to save the shows. We all do.

lisa
lisa

Frons the decision you and the network have made are going to come back and bite you in the ass.
Your shows are going to tank.

Kenzie
Kenzie

I agree I hope nobody watches those shows and I hope I get to hear on the news how they were cancelled after only a few episodes I will laugh my a** off got to hell brian

Torrey
Torrey

And I also don’t like how Whoopi Goldberg states in the promo, “I’m going to like our new neighbors.” Makes me question myself to watch The View again. If Brian Frons was smart, he would avoid cross-contamination…..We are already pissed that you’re yanking our soaps off the air, now you’re showing us that The View Co-stars seem to be happy about it. Hmmmm, I wander what I can watch in the place of that show now? The Price Is Right is starting to look really good to me.

Torrey
Torrey

Actually, I have the scenario all figured out, and if you read along, you’ll see that it plays out like a soap opera in itself. Brian Frons is the villain, of course. He decides to make a deal with some producer, and it involves a pay-off down the road, if he can successfully accomplish his devious plan….so, he hires Charles Pratt and fills him in on the plan to take down AMC, and being that AMC is the crown jewel of ABC, if we take down that show, the others will soon come crumbling down too. He hands over AMC to Pratt, a man who informs everyone that he will not write character-driven storylines and will not honor the rich history of the show…so, stories start to muck up the show, great actors start to drop like flies and the show along with the fans start to suffer. Once things get to an all time low, Pratt becomes collateral damage and is shown the door. In a secret meeting he is told, “Well done.” By the evil villain Frons. But “The Frons” is still not satisfied, so he hires two hacks to take the show further down the rabbit hole…and who better than two writers that have just caused the demise of ATWT & GL. He sees gold! So, these two hacks come along and make the situation even worse….by the time they are let go it’s too late and the show is now being cancelled. But the cliffhanger that The Frons didn’t see coming was the strong loyalty that the fans have for ABC daytime. We’re like a cold that you just can’t get to go away, and there’s no cure for….LOL. In swoops in Prospect Park to save the day…YAY!!! Now with the hopes of finding an internet or cable network home. The fans cheer and all chant: The Great and the Least, The Rich and the Poor, The Weak and the Strong, In Sickness and in Health, In Joy and in Sorrow, In Tragedy and Triumph, We are All My Children.

Jean
Jean

I LOVE THIS.. YOU NEED TO POST THIS ON FACEBOOK…

boes
boes

Whoopi Goldberg is such a has-been, isn’t she? For such a “big star” to dance to the network’s tune in doing such a promo is embarrassing – for her.

Does hsve such an overwhelming need to be in the public eye that she’ll do whatever asshat Frons says??

Why am I even asking?? She’s on The View – of course she’ll do anything for attention.

She’s going to be forgotten almost as fast as THE CHEW and Frons himself.

chevjuls
chevjuls

Whoopi Goldberg will do anyting for FOOD, she will kiss anyone a$$ for food.

Angela Lasher
Angela Lasher

It figures that this egotistcal a$$hole would turn this around to make himself look good. If abc spent 1/4 of the time and money promoting our soaps like they’ve spent on the Chew these past weeks the shows never would have been cancelled in the first place!! Prospect Park or not I no longer watch abc except for my soaps and it will stay that way. abc never expected the public response that they got which just goes to show you that the rating system is a dinosaur and needs to be revamped. And please DO NOT get me started about Katie Couric! Katie & Frons the perfect couple ass and hole!!!!

Kar815area
Kar815area

I think it all started going down hill for the abc soaps the minute they put Brian Frons in charge. That is when the writing started going down hill. And as for the new show coming on at noon, “The Crap” as I think of it, I don’t think it will last long at all.

Kathie DeSantis
Kathie DeSantis

I think you have made a huge mistake,but I don’t think you’ll get it until the ratings for THE CHEW, shows to be dismal at best………………..

chevjuls
chevjuls

I will boycott any show that comes on @ 1pm and 2pm, boycott ABC and Brian Frons,BRIAN FRONS is a jerk he took two good soap opera off the air.BOYCOTT———————————————–BOYCOTT ABC ALL THE WAY.

Ruby Thompson
Ruby Thompson

This is such a bad move for ABC daytime….who is going to watch the Chew not I or the other fans of AMC and OLTL… This is the dumbest move that ABC has done I am 49 and these show have been apart of my whole life! Brian Frons is making a HUGE MISTAKE AND I HOPE IT IS HIS DOWNFALL.

O

mary
mary

I NEVER watch the View – those women are like cackling hens with their own agenda. Sorry to tell them, but The hosts on The Talk have it all over them. When the actually cancel AMC and OLTL – I’m done with ABC all together. I quit watching ABC nighttime television after their demise of Men in Trees and October Road with no forewarning. They can tentatively plan to produce The Chew and The Revolution, but they need to CHEW on the Revolution of angry viewers and watch their daytime ratings go up in smoke. They have no clue what they are doing. Right after Hoover pulled it’s advertising from ABC for canceling those shows . . . I went out and bought myself a new Hoover. Not that I needed one, but hey I like the way they roll!

Audrie Sumner
Audrie Sumner

I’m SSSOOOOOOO with you on this.

Lissa
Lissa

This “Frons” person needs his head examined. If I received a ton of email and snail mail stating that I would never watch “The Chew” “The Revolution” and “Katie Couric,” those shows would never see the light of day. It’s pure, simple logic. A few months ago, I sent both email and snail mail stating that I refuse to watch ABC if the soaps are replaced with that garbage, and I mean it. Mr. Frons, put on your reading glasses and your listening ears: I WILL NOT WATCH “THE CHEW,” “THE REVOLUTION,” or “KATIE COURIC.” If that isn’t bold or loud enough, than this dude is deaf, dumb and blind, at least mentally. As for Whoopi Goldberg, my guess is that she was threatened with the termination of her job if she didn’t comply with Fronsfart.

SUSAN
SUSAN

AMC IS A GREAT SOAP, I HAVE REALLY ENJOYED IT, I TAPE IT AND WATCH LATER EACH WEEK, BUT NOW I GUESS I CAN GO BACK TO OLD TV WAYS NO DVD, CAUSE THERE ISN’T ANYTHING ON DURING THE DAY WORTH WATCHING OTHER THAN GUNSMOKE AND BONANZA, I GUESS THEY WILL GET AXED SOMEDAY TOO. THERE ARE SO MANY REALITY SHOWS, AND EVERYONE HAS A TALK SHOW AND SILLY SITCOMS, BUT NONE OF THEM ARE ANY GOOD, SO WHEN THE SOAPS ARE GONE I GUESS IT WILL BE TV LAND FOR ME. THANK YOU AMC I ONLY STARTED WATCHING 2 YEARS AGO, BUT IT HAS BEEN A GREAT 2 YEARS. GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU WITH YOUR FUTURES.

SUSAN
SUSAN

I WANT BE WATCHING THE CHEW, I HATE THE VIEW AND THE CHEW IS JUST ANOTHER VERSION, I REALLY GUESS I WANT BE WATCHING ABC AT ALL CAUSE AMC WAS ALL I WATCHED ON THAT CHANNEL. I THINK THIS IS PROBABLY A REALLY STUPID MOVE FOR ABC. MAYBE CBS COULD PICK UP AMC, I WATCH CBS A LOT ANYWAY.

Audrie Sumner
Audrie Sumner

Brian Frons is an idiot!!! We need another Cooking show like we need a hole in the head!I am GRIEVING at the loss of All My Children. and One Life To Live. They are why TIVO and Soapnet were invented. I hate ABC so bad for listening to this dumb man! I wish Agnes Nixon could write a very bad ending for this jerk.

Eileen_NYC
Eileen_NYC

What a moron, the outcry from the fans show what a great job they did for 40 years, yes great job until he and his sh-tty writers an cohorts came along. He really thinks a whole lot of himself. Gordon Elliott made one point that I am stil befuddled by, “people can’t sit down for an hour to watch a story”? That is where watch and record and soapnet come in. I sure as hell do not have an hour to waste on food, I can go to Food Channel to watch cooking. A little fantasy, a little break is more what I want and I can be very honest Mario Batali does not fit into my fantasy ok well maybe the orange crocs a little- I want my soap back.

Sam
Sam

The picture of Brian Frons used shows what a self-serving; smug lying egotistical jerk really looks like. Taking credit for the 40 years of devoted fans and success that both AMC and OLTL have had proves the Frons is clueless. Trying to spin the anger and betrayal AMC fans are voicing as something good for “The Chew” is the MOST ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in print.

Of course the ratings for the chew day 1 were going to be good – curiosity is a powerful motivation; just as bad television is sure way to make me and others grab the remote, change the channel and watch something else.

Once OLTL goes off the air, I will no longer watch any of the ABC/Disney/ESPN networks; anything published by Hyperion will not be purchased; Marvel comics are out – DC Comics in; our family will be taking its last and final trip to Disneyland; the return trip to Disney World is cancelled along with the planned trip to Euro Disney next Fall.

Universal Studios looks really, really good!

Pamela
Pamela

Thanks to Brian Frons for opening up literally hours of FREE time each week for me. I no longer watch Greys Anatomy, Private Practice or Dancing with the Stars or The View or any of the other crap Brian Frons keeps trying to push down our throats. It’s amazing what great SCRIPTED shows still exist on the other networks. Check out NCIS, Hawaii Five Oh, Fringe and some of the others. Do I like food shows? – you bet! but I will watch the food networks for those when I want. I still watch General Hospital (until he decides to cancel that) and will watch the new AMC when it comes on Prospect Park in 2012 but as far as ABC goes – I’m done.

Marley
Marley

Cannot WAIT for the day that Frons is gone from ABC! The sad part is that he will have killed two great soaps before someone booted his sorry, lame butt out of town! Have lots of free time in the afternoon now thanks to “Ole Bri”!! Would not watch The Chew (what the HELL is that name??!!!) or ANYthing that stars Katie Couric (Has she finally managed to pull her sorry face out of Al Gore’s lap??? Just wondering since it was so securely attached to his zipper all thru his presidential run………..)!!

I like to think that AMC will continue to flourish via the internet LOOOOOONG after Frons is just some sorry-ass name lost in the annals (or anals??) of the ABC history………..

Cheryl
Cheryl

Once again BF misinterpreted what the outcry was about. Or, he purposely ignored what it meant. Yes we enjoyed the year of AMC, though not when he and Disney were in charge. But, what he ignored was, that we did not want AMC to go away. I hope he’s fired for the mistakes he is insisting upon. The Chew is failing rapidly. And it’s too late to put AMC and OLTL back on. You, Brian, don’t have them to push around any more. This was all for naught.

Cheryl
Cheryl

Sorry about typo. Meant to say I enjoyed 40 years.
Me and about 6 of my family went out and bought hoover products

Linda
Linda

You didn’t do a good job for over 40 years….the fans did!!! Bye bye chew! And hopefully you too Frons.

Joe
Joe

It just stinks that no one saved As The World Turns or Guiding Light, the only two shows with more history than AMC/OLTL. For all the reasons soap ratings were down—-more women working, more alternative channels, TIVO, etc.—-that show, whose name deserves no mention, will eventually fail and we won’t have to see that annoying peacock-faced co-host EVER AGAIN. (Yes, it’s very juvenile to use such an insult…I don’t care.)

Jean
Jean

Fronz needs to find a corner and SIT DOWN. He is so stupid he doesn’t even know it..

Jean
Jean

I just hope PROSPECT PARK can handle the traffic watching AMC AND OLTL online. I believe Prospect Park will add another Network for soaps before it is all over… They honor loyal viewers and respect them too. Unlike ABC and Fronz.. FIRE BRIAN FRONZ!!

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

Susan ain’t fabulous all by herself. They ALL are and some of them are even REAL….!

Barbara
Barbara

I tried to watch the replacement shows, but I find them boring. So I refuse to watch any shows replacing One Life To Live, General Hospital, As The World turns, The Young And The Restless, and The Days Of Our Lives.

All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

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EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

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EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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All My Children

All My Children Reunion with Josh Duhamel, Ricky Paull Goldin, Cameron Mathison and More; Later Debbi Morgan Live

It’s a big finale of the weeklong virtual celebration of the iconic All My Children.  On tap today in EW’s series to benefit Feeding America during the COVID-19, some major names from the history of Pine Valley and who had story with each other participating in the chat, premiering at 10 a. m. EST.

Taking part in the walk down memory lane are none other than Josh Duhamel (Ex-Leo), Ricky Paull Goldin (Ex-Jake), Chrishell Stause (Ex-Amanda), Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan), Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenelee) and Melissa Claire Egan (Ex-Annie).

But that’s not all folks! Daytime Emmy winner, Debbi Morgan will participate in a live virtual chat with EW.com today beginning at 3 p.m. EST/12 p. m. PST.  Now will be your chance to hear from the one and only Angie Hubbard from the beloved ABC daytime drama series.

Over the week, EW.com has posted other virtual conversations with notables from Pine Valley, you can check them out here.

So, will you be checking out today’s one-two punch of AMC favorites? Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Weeklong Virtual Reunions Kick-Off With Ripa, Consuelos, LaRue and Penny

Beginning this morning, Tuesday, May 26th, a weeklong virtual celebration with the cast of All My Children is on tap for fans of the beloved ABC daytime drama series, featuring a “Who’s Who of Pine Valley”.

The weeklong event is brought to you by EW.com and PEOPLETV.com and starts at 10 am EST/PST.   You can watch it right here.

Featured in the first installments are  the Santos family which includes: real-life marrieds, who met on All My Children, Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley) and Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), as well as Eva LaRue (Maria) and Sydney Penny (Julia).

Episode 2 coming up on Wednesday will feature: Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin), Cady McClain (Dixie Cooney Martin), Jennifer Bassey (Marian Colby Chandler), Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt), and Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard).

The weeklong event is in support of Feeding America helping those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information and how you can make a donation visit ew.com/allmychildrenreunion

So, let us know what you think of the first installment featuring the Santos clan from Pine Valley as they reunite for a good cause via the comment section below.

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