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All My Children is Finally in My Backyard – Notes from the Set!

I recently visited the new L.A. based studios and set of All My Children.  After all the hoopla and 40th Anniversary celebrations, the folks of Pine Valley opened their doors to show off their very impressive new soundstages. I was fortunate enough to be invited and to have the opportunity to catch up with some of the veterans and newbie’s from the cast.  During the afternoon, I was going back and forth between filming video interviews with Susan Lucci (Erica), Cameron Mathison and Rebecca Budig, (Ryan and Greenlee), Julia Barr (Brooke), Jacob Young (JR) and Melissa Claire Egan, (Annie), Vincent Irizarry and Jamie Luner, (David and Liza) and Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake) and Chrishell Stause, (Amanda) to some off-camera time with other cast members. 

You can see all of the above mentioned clips in our special All My Children On-Set Video package in the Video Interviews section in the Media Gallery.  I don’t want to spoil the content, but Susan and I chatted about Bianca’s coming out storyline as being one of Erica’s greatest stories that Susan was so honored be a part of.  Julia Barr gave her heartfelt sentiments on the upcoming retirement of David Canary (Adam) and Cameron and Rebecca joked with me and detailed Rebecca’s hair mishap which led to Greenlee’s new hair color, and what’s next for this on-screen star-crossed duo.  One of the biggest thrills of the day for me was getting to interview one of only three performers I have yet to interview in my soap career and that was Chrishell.  Ricky Paull Goldin and I go way back, and since we always have fun repartee’,  I knew it would be a great when the three of us sat down on a AMC bedroom set ( guess whose?) for a sit-down video interview that I think Jake and Amanda fans will get a kick out of. 

Later, Adam Mayfield (Scott) and I chatted for a moment. I could not help but notice that on-screen his alter-ego Scott is teetering to the bad boy side.  Adam told me his own take on the developments. “He is getting there. I say this a lot, but he thinks he feels all the things everyone else in Pine Valley wants and does.  He is teetering closer to the dark edge everyday.”  Then I had to know, has Adam seen a difference in the scripts now that there had been a head writing change at the top? “I have noticed a difference in scripts. They are more character based.  I certainly never had an issue with plots in the past.  But, in the past they were not conducive with what an already established character would do in those circumstances, and we are seeing more of that now without losing any integrity of the characters.”  Being one of soap’s newest soap hunks, I had to ask Adam, does he wear that title proudly? “Oh, Soap Hunk… I have no issue with that whatsoever. Are you kidding me? To be included in the Soap Hunk category is nothing to be ashamed of. ” (Laughs) 

NACCP Image Award winner for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series, Cornelius Smith Jr. (Frankie) and I met for the first time, and I had to address that Frankie (a surgeon) keeps messing up his bum hand.  In fact, in a recent episode Frankie gets so mad he smashes his own hand in a rage.  Stupid, if you ask me. But Cornelius actually hurt himself!  “I did my bruise my hand slightly, and yes, he keeps hurting this hand, and I think Frankie’s over it!”  Frankie has gotten himself smack dab in the middle of some hot medical drama, caused by him trying to do the right thing for his parents, Angie and Jesse. Smith details, “He gets in trouble because he gives his parents time off and he is holding down the fort in the hospital, and in the process he is given a note that a patient needs surgery.  So he decides not to relay that message to Angie, and the patient passed away. Frankie has a hard time losing a life. He is constantly saving lives at the hospital and in Iraq, and when he loses one it’s very heavy on him. When he lost a life the way this went down, (when he could have just made a phone call), it’s very hard for him. At this point he wants to take responsibility for his action and he can’t do that. That can be troublesome. (Laughs) But, Frankie is trying to make peace with new events and mistakes he makes. What has been interesting is seeing how Frankie deals with this mistake and with his mother, Dr. Angie.” 

Stephanie Gatschet (Madison) and I, along with Brittany Allen (Marissa) caught up off the soundstages to discuss Madison’s emotional make-up.  So far, Stephanie’s alter-ego started off as an evil bitch, and then we see her being abused by her father and she becomes a victim of abuse. So now, where does this leave her?  Gatschet previewed, “There was an abrupt switch from being an evil wench to a victim of abuse, and certainly there was a change in the writing, because they wanted people to care so I could stick around.  Things I have read in the scripts that are coming up show me that things are going to re-surface in Madison and be addressed finally.  I don’t know how much of that has to do with our new writing regime that cares about the history of the show, or keeping the line of continuity.  There is a softening of her, but some of her vices are not necessarily done with.”  Very juicy, I say.   Having not had the chance to catch-up with Stephanie for many years, (since before she was in Pine Valley, she was turning heads in Springfield on Guiding Light, as Tammy) I had to take this opportunity to tell Stephanie, that her dying scenes with Jonathan (Tom Pelphrey) were some of the best in the history of soaps.  So, what was it like having Pelphrey jump on the bed and scream and cry why she had to lay still?  It was a five hankie moment for fans of the couple.  “It was heartbreaking and it was gripping. It was some of the best episodes I had been a part of. I was trying not to cry and not sob with him, because I was supposed to be dead. Knowing it was the last moments of a character you played for five years was tough, and also knowing you can’t breathe.” (Laughs) 

What’s a girl look like out of her uniform?  Hot!  That’s what I have to say about Shannon Kane (Natalia), who got to let her hair down during this press day.  We joked that she is always seen as a cop in uniform. “Those man pants? Stay tuned. I will be in a dress shortly. I think the people upstairs are sick of seeing me in those pants.  I am working on a new storyline and in the near future I will get a love interest.” Getting to work with Daytime Emmy and NAACP Award winning actress, Debbi Morgan (Angie) has been an experience of a lifetime for Shannon. She has treasured her time with the soap superstar and all the while getting some tips from a show biz veteran. “The best advice I have been given was off camera by Debbi. Mainly, what are the best ways and angles to get out there in the entertainment industry. Growing up as a black woman coming up through the entertainment industry, she has a lot of good advice to offer me.”  Shannon had the distinction of working in story with JR Martinez (Brot), the real life Iraqi vet the show cast last year.  She says it has had its challenges. “Working with him was a challenge because JR Martinez does not come from an acting background, but watching his progression has been amazing. Every single day he is open to learn.  I would not have had it any other way.  Now I would love to be promoted to detective, and then I could wear a coat instead of those man pants! (Laughs)” 

Daytime Emmy winner, and Pine Valley’s dastardly doctor, Vincent Irizarry (David) and I got a few minutes of alone time to chit chat.  Vincent told me the skinny on the new digs. “The soundstages are great… so much more space, but the dressing rooms are smaller.  I decorated mine nicely, so I made it comfortable and warm… that is the best you can do with it when you are in there, and you are in there more than you are home!”  Playing David Hayward (who is a major catalyst to stories on AMC), the actor has been extraordinarily busy. “At the end of the day, I am exhausted, and usually I have to look at my scripts for the next day, and even work through the weekends.  Not much time to rest.   I was working like crazy in New York with David, too. Some website did a listing of soap actors called “Screen Hogs” of who worked the most episodes. I was number seven for all of daytime!”   I had to tell Vincent that he now has the dubious distinction of being in the last position in the AMC opening title sequence, and that honor previously went to Eden Riegel.  “I actually had no idea.   I probably bumped her off in an unscrupulous manner, and did not know I even did it.” (Laughs).  I commended Vincent’s recent scenes with La Lucci where Dr. David was tied up to a chair and emotionally tormented by Erica Kane.  He enjoyed it, too! “Erica was playing him. David needed to be there for a few days for him to be worn down enough for his guard to be down. I thought the scenes played really well. I laughed when I saw the air show the other day when Nurse Gail came in and I had to laugh, when he was double-crossed going, “You bitch”.   I love working with Susan. We have such a nice dynamic with each other and its fun to do stuff with her. Those scenes we worked really hard on, and we walked away really proud.”  

So what’s next for David? Any redemption?  Irizarry previews, “I don’t think he will be beyond evil. There are times you do care about David, and during the scenes with Erica something came out about his desire to be loved and to have a loving relationship with somebody. He has come to a realization that he is not going to have a great love.  He is going to be with someone who tolerates him, or understands him.  He is an extremely damaged individual. David has suffered so much as a child and it irrevocably scarred him, and that makes sense for him.”  My mind swirling I thought, “Can we have a redux of David spiking punch on a yacht and giving the whole town of Pine Valley a cocktail laced with L.A. Libidozone?  I loved that the first time.” Vincent chimed in, “Maybe his final act would be to give everyone the gift of Libidozone… that was fun stuff!” 

In the end it was my dear colleague Bobbie Eakes, who wrapped up the day with a perfect bow on it.  I have spent many years on and off conducting interviews with her from her days as Macy on B&B through to AMC.  It is great to have her home in sunny Los Angeles.   Bobbie does like the new digs! “I think some of the sets are bigger. I love it and I think it looks different. And now we are taping in Hi-Definition!”   I knew Bobbie had to get a pre-nomination for the Daytime Emmys after those drugged out scenes from 2009 and we had a discussion on the A+ material and performance. “I remember talking about the pill popping scenes to my husband, David. Last year for the first five months, I had some of the best scenes of my career… I mean in 20 years.  I don’t want to get my hopes up, but if I do get a final nomination I have stuff from last year that I am really proud of, but you can’t take it to heart… you really can’t.”  But is there story coming for Krystal?  And, is the writing getting better? “I was talking to Julia Barr this morning and it seems like this is really coming together. The writing is making sense now and the characters have real reasons to be motivated for the things that they are doing. As for Krystal’s future, I have heard two things. Liza is going to be causing me some trouble, and I heard Krystal may be getting a new job somewhere in Pine Valley! I don’t know if the two things are part of the same story or not, but things are cooking.”   I think Krystal needs a man of her own in a  romantic story, but Bobbie differed, “I don’t know if there is going to be a man, and that is fine. I don’t need a man to validate me or Krystal! (Laughs).  

With All My Children settling into Los Angeles and their new home, the show already had made vast improvements in story, in its look and feel, and a renewed dedication and spirit from the creative team and its actors.   Pine Valley is a great place to visit, just outside of The Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area!

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Kim Barlow
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Kim Barlow

Hello,
Can you tell me where the new set of all my children is located and are there tours of the set allowed ? I will be visiting Los Angeles in the summer and would love, love , love to see it.
Thanking you in advance for your time,
Kim

Suzi
Guest
Suzi

I love the artwork on the set of “Kendells” home.
The piece with the bildings, can you advise the name of the print of artist.

All My Children

Beloved Soap Stars Left Out of 2021 Primetime Emmy Broadcast In-Memoriam Tribute

Last night, during the presentation of the 73rd annual Primetime Emmys broadcast on CBS, the annual In-Memoriam segment brought with it so many households names in a year that saw so many legacy talents and more pass away.

The tribute was performed by Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste to Bridge’s song, “River”, and as the images of the departed played across the screens from Cloris Leachman to Cicely Tyson, to Ed Asner to Michael K. Williams, and more, it was clear that several of the major late daytime soap stars were not included in the on-air tribute as well as other omissions.

Now granted, we know they will all be a part of next year’s 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in-memoriam segment, but still these actors were a part of this community and not only appeared on the soaps, but other shows as well.

Those that daytime fans noticed were not included were: Michael Nader (Ex-Dex Dexter and Dimitri Marick, Dynasty and All My Children) Stuart Damon (Ex-Alan Quartermaine, General Hospital), Ray MacDonnell (Ex-Joe Martin, All My Children) and Jay Pickett (Ex-Frank Scanlon, Port Charles).

From primetime MIA action were: Michael Constantine (Ex-Room 222), Tanya Roberts (Ex-Charlie’s Angeles), Director, Richard Donner, writer Larry McMurty, and DMX, to name but a few.

However, the Television Academy did list all of its members who died on their website in the In-Memoriam section, because due to time constraints, they could not possibly showcase everyone.

What do you feel about the omissions of Nader, Damon, MacDonnell, Pickett, and more from the In-Memoriam tribute? Let us know in the comment section, but first watch the segment.

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All My Children

AMC Alum Sarah Michelle Gellar Reflecting on Her Time on Soaps: “Anything I Can Do to Continue the Legacy I’m Very Proud Of”

Daytime fans knew of Sarah Michelle Gellar her way before her Buffy the Vampire Slayer days, when she stepped on to the small screen as Erica’s (Susan Lucci) troubled daughter Kendall Hart on ABC’s All My Children. 

Gellar played the role from 1993 to 1995, and made a brief return in 2011 as the show came to its conclusion on ABC. Additionally, Sarah won a Daytime Emmy for her performance in the Outstanding Younger Actress category in 1995.

Photo: NATAS

Sarah has partnered with Lysol for their brand’s Disinfecting Wipes “Buy One, Donate One” program. where now through September 26, whenever a pack of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes is purchased, another pack will automatically be donated to an under-resourced school through the Kids In Need Foundation.

The program is aimed to help curb the spread of illness-causing germs in schools this back-to-school season, a total of up to 16 million packs of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes will be donated to Title I schools across the country.

The program is the latest component of Lysol’s HERE for Healthy Schools initiative. Started in 2019 with the mission to help curb the spread of preventable illness and to help kids miss less school so they are able to learn, grow and thrive, HERE for Healthy Schools has provided educational materials for students and Lysol disinfecting supplies for educators and administrators to more than 49,000 schools across the country. This year, HERE for Healthy Schools is focused on helping to protect children, educators and parents as they make their big return to in-person learning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking with TV Insider on the partnership, Gellar recalled her time on the soaps and how it changed her career and outlook, noting: “it was the training ground for the rest of my career.”

She went on to say: “I made incredible friends at that time and I learned incredible work habits, and soap operas are an intense amount of work, and I’m incredibly grateful for that time and the people that I met.  We live in a world now where my kids don’t even really know what a soap opera is, so anything I can do to continue the legacy I’m very proud of.”

So, do you remember Sarah’s time on AMC? What do you think of her thoughts on her time on the soaps? Comment below.

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All My Children

‘Dynasty’ and ‘All My Children’ Co-Stars React to the Death of Michael Nader

UPDATED: Yesterday, Michael Fairman TV broke the news of the passing of Michael Nader (Ex-Dex, Dynasty and Dimitri, All My Children).  As reported, Michael died on Monday morning of an untreatable form of cancer at his home in Northern California with his wife, Jodi, and his beloved dog, Storm by his side.

Since then, several of Nader’s former Dynasty and All My Children co-stars have taken to social media with their reactions and remembrances after having learned that he has no longer with us.

From his leading ladies, Joan Collins and Susan Lucci, to Emma Samms and John James, Eva LaRue, Finola Hughes, Maxwell Caufield, Vincent Irizarry and more, so many are taking a moment to share their grief and outpouring of love for Michael.

Michael Fairman TV will continue to update this post throughout the day as more remembrances are posted.

Here are what several of Nader’s former co-stars and colleagues shared below:

Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica, All My Children):”MICHAEL NADER—so handsome, so talented—so wonderful and beloved as All My Children’s DIMITRI MARICK—and a great love of “Erica Kane”. I am so lucky to have played opposite Michael—playing some of the most romantic scenes ever—dancing in palaces in Budapest, our gorgeous Greek Orthodox wedding, complete with crowns. Michael was a doll to work with and to know.  RIP, Michael💙💙💙🙏🙏🙏”

Joan Collins (Ex-Alexis, Dynasty): “Very sad to hear of the death of my onscreen husband and lover #michaelnader aka #dexdexter – I loved working with him and his character was a wonderful mixture of tough and tender. #alexis was crazy to keep on rejecting him! #rip #ripmichaelnader”

Photo: ABC/Getty

Emma Samms (Ex-Fallon, Dynasty): “Incredibly sad news about Michael Nader. What a blessing it was to have had his participation and support for our Dynasty Reunion fundraiser back in March. Thinking of his wife Jodi and sending condolences to all of his many fans.”

Photo: Amazon

John James (Ex-Jeff, Dynasty): “I’m so sad to hear, that my dear friend Michael Nader passed away. We shared some great laughs together and I will miss miss you buddy. Sending prayers to the family.”

Finola Hughes (Ex-Alex, All My Children): “Oh #michaelnader sweet man. I worked with him so briefly, but he cared about his craft and his fellow actors. Sending much love and condolences to his family ❤️”

Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria, All My Children): “So heartbreaking to hear about the passing of Michael Nader! The sweetest man, with the best stories and the funniest out takes! Thank you for the endless belly laughs around that Wildwind dining table at #AMC ! You will be remembered with so much Love!😢♥️ All my prayers and sympathy to his family🙏🏼♥️ Rest peacefully sweet man♥️”

Photo: Sue Coflin/MaxPhotos

Cady McClain (Ex-Dixie, All My Children): “Michael was always a joy to work with, and one of the funniest human beings I ever met. I feel so blessed to have crossed his path and been able to watch him work his magic. I know he felt the love and appreciation of his colleagues and I’m grateful our discussions were always deep or kind. #RIP #michaelnader Photo by @stevenbergman29 💕 (note his book and bookmark! Only Michael would carry it on the res carpet. 😂)”

Maxwell Caufield (Ex-Miles, Dynasty): “That #MichaelNader in the arena many seasons with both @Joancollinsdbe and #SusanLucci – quel hombre.”

Dondre T. Whitfield (Ex-Terrence, All My Children), who commented on Eva LaRue’s post: “Wow. Haven’t seen him in years. So sad to see the Brother. He was very mice to me during my “Pine Valley” time. RIP Nader.”

Vincent Irizarry (Ex-David, All My Children), who commented on Eva LaRue’s post: “OMG, my heart is breaking!!! Loved dear Michael, working opposite him in both “Pine Valley” and in Jackie Collins’ ‘Lucky Chances’. So so sad to hear of his passing. Yes @evalarue, the sweetest man, and ABSOLUTELY the funniest outtakes…”

Sean Kanan: (Ex-AJ, GH, Deacon, B&B) “I was so sorry to hear that Michael Nader passed away. He and I played father and son in Perry Mason: The Case of the Maligned Mobster. We spent some time together and he was a very authentic person. My sincerest condolences to his family. RIP Michael.”

Share your thoughts and remembrances of these wonderful co-stars with Michael throughout his years on Dynasty and All My Children via the comment section below.

 

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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