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AMC's Debbi Morgan Interview: As Angie is at a crossroad in her life, Emmy winner wraps up life in Pine Valley & heads to Genoa City!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

It has been a remarkable 29-year run for Debbi Morgan as Dr Angie Hubbard on All My Children. And in two weeks time we, the audience, will not only have to say our farewell to Dr. Angie permanently, but goodbye to the network television run of the series featuring Angie and her friends and loved ones in Pine Valley.

A few months back, Debbi decided to get a new lease on her soap life and signed a contract with The Young and the Restless. While details of her new role are shrouded in secrecy, she will first hit the air in her latest incarnation on October 7th. But for now, over at AMC, Dr. Angie is trying to get her eyesight back, dealing with the cover-up by her husband Jesse, and loss of her baby girl, and handing back the little one she believed to be her own to Maya, the birth mom! And who else could play all this and hit it out of the park time and time again, but Daytime Emmy winner, Morgan?

On-Air On-Soaps recently caught up with Debbi at the final All My Children press junket to get her thoughts on the ending of the 41-year-old soap, Angie’s plight, her new digs, and turning off the lights in P.V.!  Here’s our “quickie” chat with Debbbi M.!

How did everyone feel over at All My Children, when you told them you were (in a way) jumping ship to head to the number one soap, The Young and the Restless?

DEBBI: Julie Hanan Carruthers our executive producer; just gave a brunch the other weekend for AMC creator, Agnes Nixon, and Agnes said, “I can’t believe it.  How long is your contract for over there?” And I said, “Well, I signed a two year contract over at Y&R Agnes.” And she said, “I’ll be dead by then.”  I said, “Please, Agnes.  Don’t say that!” And so her daughter to lighten the moment said, “Mom, whatever you have to write for her, you better write for her now.”

Are you now ready to put down Dr. Angie’s stethoscope and put it away, and move on to Genoa City?

DEBBI: I am. As much as Angie has meant to me, as an actress I am definitely ready for another challenge. I will say this; she won’t have any traces of Angie… that is much as I can say about her. 

Courtesy/ABC

On AMC, poor Angie has suffered so for months! Total Blindness, losing her child, a baby-switch! I mean, if they are going to throw an actress everything but the kitchen sink and make it work, they probably went, “Let’s give it to Morgan!  She can handle it!” (Laughs) But that being said, how was navigating through the constant blindness, the pregnancy, the emotions of her situation on a daily basis?

DEBBI: You know what? I am so exhausted with it! I had no idea it would last this long. Well, I got sick last year which is part of the reason since I was gone for three months, and that I think stretched it out some more. But the thing I think that has been the most difficult is that when you act, the eyes are the windows to the world. You express so much with your eyes, and not being able to utilize that has just been torture for me.  I went, “Guys! I am so ready for this to be over!” But yet with that being said, it had been some great story to play in combination with losing her child, Ellie and giving up her chance to see so she can have this child, and then in the end she still winds up losing this child anyway. So it had been a great story.

Having made Dr. Angie Hubbard such a identifiable staple of the fabric of Pine Valley and All My Children, what are you feeling as the show is about to air its final few weeks of episodes?

Courtesy/ABC

DEBBI: I feel like everybody, there is sadness, and coupled with the sadness is a huge disappointment.  We were told we were being taken off the air because of low ratings. And for me, I don’t know anybody, who knows anybody, who knows anybody with a Nielsen Box. We know there are so many loyal fans who watch this show who are just not accounted for.  I just can’t believe with all the technology advances that they are making, that we have not come up with a better way to do a ratings system, then the Nielsen Ratings. So it’s a huge disappointment for me to see how terribly saddened our fans are. And it’s like telling them, that they don’t matter! That has bothered me more than anything.

As this part of your soap career comes to end and you look back body at your body of work as Angie, and all the storylines and the enormously popularity of the Jesse and Angie love story, what is your takeaway from it?

DEBBI: I have said this many times, because of this character, I have probably logged more hours than any other African American television performer. And being a woman of color, great parts like this don’t come along, and for that, this role has meant so much to me. To have a job, and to be someplace where I was happy to be, and to get to play so many different things has been unbelievable. It’s like when you do a primetime series it’s usually seeing a character at their career, but in this job in daytime you get to see her characters home life, her career, and the trials and tribulations with her children. There have been so many different avenues I have gotten to go with this Angie and that is what has meant a lot to me.

Courtesy/ABC

So even though you will not be staying with AMC with its projected move to the web early next year, and having been one of the genres most powerhouse performers, what do you think about the future of soaps on the Internet and on daytime television?

DEBBI: I think the All My Children move to the web with Prospect Park is going to happen and there will be this huge transition overall in our business to web series.  It happened with radio went series migrated to television, and eventually they will start creating more new soaps for the web.  And as far as daytime television soap operas, I definitely feel The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful will be the last two standing.

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Nancy Wizner
Nancy Wizner

This is a very nice interview. I along with everyone else who is a fan of AMC hate to see Debbie leave. We have wanted her back for so many years. Finally get what we want and this happens. What she says about the rating system is true. There are thousands of fans out there who are not being counted. Had they been, ratings would have been much higher. However, I do NOT believe this was the reason for cancellation. The viewers were there, it is just the much less expensive shows they want today, and that would be reality shows. So I give my favorite spot on ABC to The Chew (unhappily) and await AMC online for which I will be as faithful as I was when it was on ABC. However, ABC is off my TV forever as of 9/23 after AMC is finished.

kay killgore
kay killgore

Personally I wish she would stay with AMC my gosh we don’t need anymore new faces at Y&R!!! We have Genie Francis, Tristan Rogers, Maura West, before she was fired the list goes on and on but MAB & Sony cannot afford MTS who we have loved for 32 years on Y&R. It is like musical chairs and personally I don’t give a dam how good an actress they are stay off of Y&R!!! Sick of it ! Bill Bell would never have done this!

Blake
Blake

Yeah i’ll be done with ABC for good when OLTL goes off in January.

Tricia Cimo
Tricia Cimo

I know exactly how you feel…I refuse to watch any of those new shows.

Brian Greene
Brian Greene

Dear soap opera goddesses out there,

Please let Miss Debbi have a long-running visible character to play on Y&R when she begins airing in October. Thanks! 🙂

JSub
JSub

I think she’s gonna be Devon’s mother.

Yvonne
Yvonne

I thought Devon’s mama was Yolanda? That was an entire s/l for a good while that invovled the Winters crew.

In regard to Ms. Morgan who I think is one of the best actresses around, signed a deal with Y&R before anyone was even aware of any dealings with PP. At the end of the day this is business and she has been nothing but loyal to ABC (playing Angie Hubbard for years in and outside of Pine Valley and as Ellen on Port Charles), I think we can say ABC has NOT been the same to their employees or fans. If I knew my company was shutting down, there is no way I would sit by idling hoping they would change their minds. I would be on the grind trying to find other employment and that is what she did. So best wishes to her and I will follow her right over to Y&R and hope that they treat her well for the 2 yrs she has signed on for.

aria
aria

what a trader, she could of waited a while, but as far as her comment on Y&R AND BB being the last two soap standing, i think she is wrong. and if they are, thats sad, cause their really nothing special about these two soaps…

waitaminute
waitaminute

Aria,very unrealistic for you to say Ms Morgan should wait,good things dont always come to those who wait. If you lost a job and another great company offered you, a just as good or better job, would you wait on, well we may hire you back later ,the venue will be smaller,the money may be less ?As of this writing, no one for AMC has been hired by Prospect Park and yet 4 people from OLTL have been.Her bills are not going to wait,life is not going to wait.AMC’s future seems to be questionable,she made the right move for her(as did Jacob “JR Chandler”Young going to the Bold and Beautiful)I,which is what a smart person does. Good luck Ms Morgan in your new role and thanks for the great work especially at AMC.

ethel
ethel

debbie morgan is not a traitor – debbie signed with y&r way before prospect park even got involved with saving amc

Tricia Cimo
Tricia Cimo

I couldn’t have said it any better, Ethel.

gloworm
gloworm

Nice article! And congratulations on your new gig Ms. Morgan!!

Lew
Lew

Unless the networks get behind their soaps, I am afraid Ms. Morgan is right about Y&R & BB being the only soaps left. ABC is just waiting to dump GH and DOOL is a year by year thing. I truly miss the old days of soaps, when it was about good storytelling, characters and actors who could act.

Tricia Cimo
Tricia Cimo

You got that right, Lew. Tell me, what’s so great about GH? I think ABC favors them over AMC and OLTL.

kay killgore
kay killgore

I just now caught the part Y&R & B&B the last 2 standing so let’s run over there and ruin those two. Tell me does anyone care if she is coming to Y&R? MAB bring back MTS &VR and stop this now or are you trying to destroy your father-in-laws legacy?

todd
todd

The demos fro Y and R are equal to other shows in 18-34. Y and R fans are older, eventually their lead will be slim to none as they are not generating younger fans. The CBS shows are currently the strongest in total viewers, and B+B makes tons of money internationally. Y and R was able to keep their loyal viewers by not having such drastic turnover in producers and writers. The ABC shows changed direction wildly every time something wasn’t working. Fans got frustrated as their shows became unrecognizable. NBC had the same problem. From that perspective I also believe CBS will have the final 2 shows on. Days is giving itself a huge push right now…..and I hope they benefit from AMC’s cancellation. They would be smart to pick up an Alicia Minshew or Rebecca Budig.

Esther
Esther

While I am saddened that my soaps are going off of tv and hope they will be a huge success on the web or cable stations I knew it would be a matter of time before they did this. I wonder why the tv execs cannot come up with something new besides being copycats of the other stations. Remember the westerns,comedies, and variety shows? When they put the soaps on the web stations I will not watch ABC, CBS, or NBC except for local news. TV is becoming a wasteland.

Janet
Janet

It saddens me so to see AMC leave the airways. I’ve been a devoted fan for 41 years and I feel like I’m loosing a member of my family. I’m hoping Prospect Park can work a miracle and bring back to life a good part of the cast of AMC. For those who are moving on, I wll miss you dearly.

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.

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,

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”

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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All My Children

WATCH: All My Children Reunion On Strahan & Sara

On Monday’s episode of ABC’s Strahan & Sara, the show welcomed several stars of the beloved All My Children for a reunion, of sorts. Joining hosts Michael Strahan and Sara Haines were Susan Lucci (Erica), Walt Willey (Jack), Cady McClain (Dixie), Jacob Young (JR) and Jill Larson (Opal).

While it was wonderful to see the stars from Pine Valley again, it was also a painful reminder that this network, ABC, canceled the show, and had put in its place – The Chew, and now Strahan & Sara – since canning the series.   In fact, as you will see on the clips below, many of the crew who work on this talk show were once the crew for All My Children.

During the segment, Susan Lucci was tested to see if she remembered all of Erica Kane’s wedded names.  Later, Walt Willey and Susan re-created the final scene of the ABC version of All My Children between Erica and Jack, where Jack walks out on her.  However, this time, they have Jack changing his mind and coming back to Erica and sealing their relationship with a kiss – a moment of closure that never happened (since the show moved to online via Prospect Park).

In addition, Cady McClain and Jacob Young re-created the infamous Dixie “dying from eating poison pancakes” scene, as JR watches his mother die, only this time she lives.

It’s always great to see these veteran performers, but Strahan & Sara is trying to capture the soap viewers to put eyeballs on their show by bringing in talent from the show that sadly and wrongly went off the air.

Watch the clips below from the All My Children reunion below.  Then, let us know what you thought of it via the comment section below.

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