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All My Children

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.” 

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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.”  

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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
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
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

Cameron Mathison Reveals Cancer Diagnosis and Shares Heartfelt Message

One of our the best guys we know, Cameron Mathison (co-host, Home & Family and Ex-Ryan Lavery, All My Children), revealed over the last 24 hours that he has been diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma – kidney cancer, but treatment for him will be underway and the prognosis is good.

Cameron first shared the news on Monday’s Home & Family in a special announcement enlightening viewers on his health condition (watch video below) and later took to his Instagram and social media to share more details.   Of note: Mathison’s healthy lifestyle has indeed helped, and shown, that his cancer has not spread.

In addition, Mathison wrote: “About a month ago, I had an MRI for some gut issues I’ve been having, and during that MRI they fd a tumor on my right kidney. It’s consistent with Renal Cell Carcinoma … or kidney cancer. The good news is that it hasn’t spread to any other organs🙏🏼 They say my healthy lifestyle and diet has no doubt helped keep it from growing and spreading to other areas, as doctors think it’s been growing in me for minimum 10 years🙏🏼. I am extremely lucky that we found it early.” He thanked his doctor and his family, saying, “[wife] Vanessa, [kids] Lucas and Leila have been absolutely amazing with their love and support… as have my mom, dad, brother, and everyone at Home and Family, Hallmark, and ET❤️ My surgery is scheduled on September 12th, I was hoping to receive positive thoughts, prayers, or whatever you feel comfortable with, on 9/12 (my surgery is at 1pm PST) 🙏🏼.” He concluded, “Feeling very grateful and optimistic!”

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Send positive vibes Cameron’s way as he goes through his medical procedure this week, share your comments below.

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All My Children

8 Years To The Day Of All My Children & One Life to Live Being Canceled; Still Considered By Many Worst Move For Daytime

It’s hard to believe that 8 years ago today on April 14th, 2011, the soap world, its fans, and the cast members, learned of the heartbreaking news that ABC, in one swift move, decimated its daytime line-up when they announced the cancellations of long running series, All My Children (which would end at its 41st year), and One Life to Live (which would ends its run in its 43rd year).

At the time, ABC announced it would move to more lifestyle/entertainment series to replace these dramas.  In its place came The Chew and The Revolution, neither show is still on the air today.  Executives at that time pointed to research saying that times are changing and that their decision was “guided by extensive research into what today’s daytime viewers want,” and blame, in part, “the changing viewing patterns of the audience” for the axing of AMC and OLTL

Then ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons had joked to Deadline about the big announcement that he: “Pre-entered the witness protection program prior to today’s events.”  He added that “The demise of the two venerable soaps was actually a year in the making.  A year ago, we started to look at our projections where the ratings for the soaps would go.  When those projections came in pretty discouraging, the network began to aggressively develop replacement shows, 15 of them.  Four of the 15 were picked up to pilot: The Chew and The Revolution and two others, a talk show and a dating show. Originally, the idea was to cancel only one daytime drama.  The way the ratings developed and the pilots turned out, the ratings developed negatively and pilots developed positively, so we decided to make a bigger shift.”  Of note is that when it went off the air, One Life to Live was in third place among its competitors in the ratings.

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The press release that came with the cancellations stated: “To honor the core, passionate audience and their rich history both shows will conclude in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers.”

Following the cancellations daytime reeled. The mainstream was sure it meant the endings of the soaps, period.  However, four shows illustrated that is not true at all.  For Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless all remain, and still whether they are up or down in their numbers/ratings, they remain relevant and important to the enduring daytime viewing audience.

Sadly, as with any shows, the end of ABC’s AMC and OLTL meant loss of jobs for so many working in front of the camera and behind the scenes. One Life was the last soap opera in production in New York at the time.  AMC was already being shot in LA to cut costs to save it.

Still in 2019, if you venture on to social media, especially Twitter, you see fans constantly missing its stars and the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, wanting this wrong rectified.  Although Prospect Park tried to revive the show with their online versions, eventually after legal battles that went on for a few years, ABC now retains the right to these properties,

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The good news is that many favorites from AMC and OLTL have found success and been hired on other soap operas, bringing their followings with them, whether it be on-screen, or in the writing, producing, directing or crew departments.

So, do you think the loss of AMC and OLTL consolidated daytime and made the remaining shows stronger so they would not be touched or canceled?  Do you think ABC should try to mount a resurrected AMC and OLTL or an amalgamation of the two?  Do you remember where you were when you learned the two soaps were cancelled? Was this the worst misstep of all-time for daytime? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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All My Children

George R. R. Martin’s “Leak” Of New Hulu Series WILD CARDS Featuring Eden Riegel, Thorsten Kaye. and Greg Rikkart

April Fool’s Day started off with a bang today when Eden Riegel (Ex-Bianca, AMC) posted a photo of herself with Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Greg Rikaart (Ex-Leo, DAYS)  in a very intriguing image.  See above pic!  As it turns out, it’s said to be from behind the scenes from some leaked footage of the upcoming Hulu series, Wild Cards.

The premise of Wild Cards is based on the sci-fi anthology series edited by George R. R, Martin, best known for writing the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels, on which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based.  Riegel’s husband, Andrew Miller is the showrunner attached to the upcoming series.

On Martin’s website he teases the set-up of the “leaked” video clip:  “This was not supposed to go public.. Everybody (Well, everybody that has been paying attention knows that we are developing two Wild Cards as a series for Hulu  Andrew Miller has taken the reins as showrunner, a writing staff has been hired, and they have been hard at work for months.  What was NOT supposed to be known is how far they’ve come.  Not only have some scripts been finished, but the first show has gone into production and has been shooting.  That was supposed to be a deep dark secret, however.   We wanted to surprise the world. It’s hard to keep secrets in Hollyweird, however.  And now it appears that some of the rough footage has been leaked by person or persons unknown”

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Meanwhile, Riegel sent out a series of tweets: “Hooo boy…cat’s out of the bag! Fans, please don’t judge our show based on these leaked videos!! The effects are going to knock your socks off. And my costars, and , are doing the best work of their lives!”  That was followed by, T”hank you for the chance to work with you on your first foray into soaps! I am humbled and honored. We won’t let you down.” And then, “I’m probably not allowed to share this with all the NDAs I signed, but damnit I’m just so proud of the team!  think we are breaking new ground for soaps. So proud to work with you!”

Now below, check out the Wild Cards “leaked footage” and let us know if you think of the …. um … drama! Comment below.  And one more thing … Happy April Fool’s!

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Y&&’s Eileen Davidson and her husband Vincent Van Patten chat with Michael Fairman about their new film “7 Days to Vegas”, her time on Y&R, DAYS, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and their relationship. Leave A Comment

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