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Are Daytime Soaps Finally Getting Any Respect?

Courtesy/ABC

In a new post from blogger, Jeremy Helligar in his Pump Up The Volume posts on  the True/Slant beta version website, he looks at the move of many big-name motion picture and primetime television stars doing guest appearances on daytine soaps, and if indeed, it is making a dent in the ratings of the industry.  Here are a few excerpts ,which starts with James Franco’s recent second stint at GH!

Helligar writes, “Not that it seems to matter to Franco (the actor and the character) — or GH’s suits. On June 30, they brought Franco back to GH for an encore, and this time Oscar nominee Bruce Davison (Longtime Companion) is along for the ride in a three-episode stint as Franco’s art dealer. (Davison debuted on July 9.) Meanwhile, four-time Emmy winner and former The Waltons star Michael Learned has been appearing on GH since April in the recurring role of terminal cancer patient Shirley Smith. (Poor Learned. She played a similar bed-ridden recurring role on Scrubs. It would be nice to see 71-year-old Olivia Walton up and about in a guest-starring stint for a change.)

Over at Days of Our Lives, Learned’s former Waltons husband and two-time Emmy nominee Ralph Waite has been appearing on and off as Father Matt since February of last year. In a possibly unintended coincidence, on one of last week’s GH episodes, Shirley was detailing her romantic history, and the name of one of her exes happend to be… Ralph. Also crossing over to daytime is Sean Young (on The Young and the Restless) and Flashdance star Michael Nouri, who recently appeared on the FX cable series Damages and in the 2009 Sandra Bullock hit The Proposal. He’s currently on contract on All My Children as Erica Kane’s soon-to-be love interest Caleb Cooney.

I’m not sure how I feel about all of this stunt casting. Most of daytime’s crossover stars still work regularly on prime time and in film, so in a sense, they are taking jobs from out-of-work actors all over New York and L.A., where the six remaining soaps are based. (After 54 years on TV, As the World Turns will air for the final time on September 17.) Plus the ratings of the daytime dramas continue to drop, so there has been no discernible positive affect from a business stand point. As for the characters themselves, most of them haven’t been fan favorites and are expendable.”

All My Children

NBC Celebrates Carol Burnett’s 90th Birthday with Retrospective Special Featuring Susan Lucci and More Celebrity Guests

The beloved Carol Burnett will get the star-studded affair treatment for her 90th birthday when NBC airs Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love.

The two-hour special career retrospective will air Wednesday, April 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and will stream the next day on Peacock. The special is set to be filmed at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles.

The evening will include musical performances from Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Jane Lynch, Katy Perry, Kristin Chenoweth and more.

Special guests include: Aileen Quinn, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Bob Mackie, Cher, Ellen DeGeneres, Julie Andrews, Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern, Lily Tomlin, Marisa Tomei, Sofia Vergara, Steve Carell, Tracee Ellis Ross, Vicki Lawrence, and many more.

Photo: ABC

One very special guest for soap fans will be that of Susan Lucci (ex-Erica Kane, All My Children).  As everyone knows, Carol Burnett was a huge fan of All My Children and Lucci, and eventually got a part written just for her when she appeared not once, but three times throughout the daytime drama’s run on ABC as Verla Grubbs.  The character turned out to the daughter of Langley Wallingford (the late Louis Edmonds).  Burnett appeared in Pine Valley in 1983, 1995, and 2005.

In a statement on the big soiree’, Burnett shared: “I’m so excited NBC decided to throw me a birthday party and invited all of my closest friends. I can’t wait to look back at so many wonderful moments throughout my career, I feel so lucky to share this night with everyone.”

“This special is going to be the best party ever,” said Mark Bracco, executive producer and president of Silent House Productions. “It will be an evening of music, comedy and dozens of big stars paying tribute to the one and only Carol Burnett.  We look forward to everyone at home celebrating right along with us.”

Viewers will see some of the funniest and most memorable moments of Burnett’s legendary career including moment from the acclaimed sketch comedy series The Carol Burnett Show.

So, looking forward to the special honoring Carol Burnett’s legendary career? Hope they bring up her role as Verla on AMC? For now, check out this scene featuring Carol, Ruth Warrick (Phoebe) and Louis Edmonds from All My Children, and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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All My Children

TONIGHT: AMC Alum Jonathan Bennett in Hallmark’s First LGBTQ+ Led Rom-Com ‘The Holiday Sitter’

In Hallmark’s first holiday movie offering featuring a same-sex love story at its epicenter, Jonathan Bennett (ex-JR Chandler, All My Children) not only stars, but is the project’s executive producer.  And, on Sunday night, when The Holiday Sitter premieres at 8 p.m. EST, it’s a big deal.

After much outcry for Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas programming block to be more inclusive, the channel is now poised to be on the right side of history.

The set-up of this ‘meet-cute’ rom-com goes something like this: Sam (Bennett) who is a workaholic has to ditch his Hawaiian holiday plans when he is asked to watch his sister’s children (his niece and nephew).  However, when Sam becomes overwhelmed, he gets a helping hand from his sister’s neighbor, Jason played by George Krissa. And within a blink of an eye, Sam and Jason find they are both unattached and attracted to each other, and Christmas becomes a lot brighter for the two of them.

As for Bennett, he previously appeared in Hallmark’s 2020 film, The Christmas House which was the channel’s first holiday movie to include a same-sex storyline. He later returned to that role in last year’s sequel The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls.

Bennett told USA Today on tonight’s milestone Hallmark holiday tale: “What’s so special about The Holiday Sitter is that it’s the first time we’ll see two men meet-cute and fall in love at Christmas. We tell a story that’s really important, so people that are watching it feel seen when they watch it. But just like Christmas is for everybody, The Holiday Sitter is for everybody… It just happens to have two men as the lead.”

Photo: HallmarkChannel

Hallmark Media’s Executive Vice-President, Lisa Hamilton told Deadline: “We felt that it was time for a story with a gay couple. We are really trying to make it so that everybody sees themselves when they tune in. We are trying to stay true to the Hallmark brand values, one of which is inclusiveness. It’s a true of Hallmark cards, which has a card for every kind of occasion. In the past, there was a focus on one particular kind of love story, and I think everybody thought, ‘wow, we’re not telling the whole story here.’”

The timing of The Holiday Sitter comes after Candace Cameron Bure received much backlash for her sentiments when she told the Wall Street Journal that the Great American Family network in which she stars in several of their holiday films, will “keep traditional marriage at the core” and never do stories/movies featuring same-sex couples.

Check out a preview for The Holiday Sitter below.

Now let us know, what do you think of the Hallmark Channel finally featuring a gay love story for one of its holiday films? Will you be checking out the landmark movie? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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All My Children

Rebecca Budig in Cast of CBS Holiday Movie ‘Fit For Christmas’

Daytime favorite Rebecca Budig (ex-Greenlee, AMC, and ex-Hayden, GH) will be seen in the upcoming CBS holiday movie, Fit For Christmas.

The movie also stars The Talk’s Amanda Kloots and she also serves as one of the executive producers and also co-wrote the project.  Budig joins Kloots along with When Calls the Heart favorite, Paul Greene in the holiday charmer.

In story, Fit For Christmas tells “the tale of Audrey, an enthusiastic Christmas-obsessed fitness instructor at a beloved, financially beleaguered community center in quaint Mistletoe, Mont., who begins a holiday romance with a charming, mysterious businessman, complicating his plans to turn the center into a more financially profitable resort property.”

Fit for Christmas is slated to premiere on Sunday, December 4th (8:30 ET/8 PT).

So, will you be watching Rebecca, Amanda and Paul in the holiday film? Do you somehow wish GH could bring back Budig as Hayden? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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