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Cady McClain speaks on Dixie's return, Michael E. Knight, and AMC's network TV axing!



On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Daytime Emmy winner,  Cady McClain (Dixie) over the weekend at the All My Children Fan Club Gathering to ask her about the shocking turn of events that led to dead-as-a-doorknob Dixie being risen from the ashes and given new life as the 40-year-old soap prepares to end its network television run on ABC Daytime on September 23rd.

With not-to-be missed episodes, Tad and Dixie fans will see major moments beginning to play out on-screen this week, with a key episode on Monday August 8th.  McClain, a savvy soap veteran opens up about how her return as Dixie came to pass, her unbelievable on-screen chemistry with Michael E. Knight (Tad), the upcoming Tad and Dixie reunion scenes, and how she handled the news that both AMC and OLTL were to be to shipped off of network television.  We found Cady to be witty, funny,  smart as a whip, and filled with deep emotion on the subjects we bantered about.

Cady, did you want to come back to All My Children and revive Dixie one more time after the poison pancake debacle, or were you just done?

CADY: I think I had really let it go, I had just decided, they were not calling. It’s dead. She’s dead. She ate the poison pancakes.  She was a ghost twice!  Maybe I would come and talk to Tad as the ghost; you know I thought I was going the way of Jenny Gardner! (Laughs) First, I had heard that Lorraine Broderick was hired as head writer, and I thought, “Hmmm. What is going on here? Lorraine has always liked me and been very supportive of me.” And then like in a second, I got a text from Julie Carruthers, the executive producer of All My Children, and I literally had to sit down.  I almost fell off my chair.

At the time you got the text, did you for a moment think, Dixie might turn out be alive this time?

CADY: No! It was just, “You want to meet for coffee? Are you in New York still? What is going on?” And I am like. “You tell me?” (Laughs).  So we had sat down and had some coffee and they informed me they wanted to bring me back for a year and that was before the show was canceled. So, we were talking and in negotiations and then I got a call from my agent who said, “Ah, sit back down. The show has been canceled.”


Now we have amped up sped up version of what would happen if Dixie came back to her loved ones very much alive due to the network television conclusion of All My Children which is upon us.  Did it feel sped up in the storytelling to you?

CADY: Yeah and I suppose that is kind of what we have. And in a way, I am kind of glad. I mean, there are times when it feels like, “Whoa. This is happening so fast!”

And there are times, if you had the luxury to tell the story over a year arc; it could also feel drawn out into infinity!

CADY: Right, exactly and especially for the fans who are like, “Would you please exit the crypt!” (Laughs)

When you first heard the news that AMC was canceled, as someone who has consistently worked in the daytime genre and has been an actress associated with playing a beloved character on this show, were you shocked by the news?

CADY: I was in frozen shock for a couple of days, especially announcing both One Life to Live and All My Children being canceled at the same time.  And then, I got very depressed. I had to lie down and really feel sad about it. It is a genre that works really hard. Everyone in the business knows no one works harder than those in the soaps. It is five shows a week, fifty two weeks a year. We kill ourselves to put on programming like that. It is very dramatic, emotional, and relevant programming, and not everyday do you hit it out of the ballpark. But you have to keep the story going and sometimes when soaps do it well, it is amazing.  It felt like soaps were misunderstood, not being wanted, not being liked, all those painful feelings that rejection brings, and then it felt like an opportunity of: let’s show them how good we can be.  Let’s do the very best job we can do and keep continuing on to the very end and see what happens.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Michael E. Knight and you have this undeniable on-screen chemistry. Tad and Dixie are one of the all time favorite couples in the history of AMC.  The big reunion scenes are set to air on Monday August 8th.  Were you good with it and how they wrote it?

CADY: The reunion is really good!  I am very good with it and Michael and I were talking about this. There is nowhere else in our lives where we have this experience of true love that has lasted over our entire lives. And in the world we live today, not many people have that with their partners.  Not many people have that anymore with one person. Whether Tad and Dixie have fallen apart or cheated on one another, certainly, there is something about them that they just love about each other and they know each other and they are family. That has great value; having that one person who has always fought for you and stood by you and wanted for you. I am getting emotional just talking about it. Michael and I because of our friendship have some of that, but it really blossoms on-camera. It is this fantasy world we get to go to and it’s this very precious thing that is available to find in real life, but very hard to find.

Over the years, Michael E. Knight has turned Tad into this extremely relatable, everyman type of guy with his sweet and sincere performances. I believe he has grown as an actor, and he is just amazing to watch.

CADY: It is sweet. Michael has had an amazing journey as a person and as an actor in his career.  It is funny; I see acting just like some people see painting. It is sort of this thing that it is outside of yourself, but you and your craft keep growing at the same rate… as you grown in your craft, you grow as a person.  So, as he has grown as a person his acting has just expanded into this other rich facility and that is really hard to get.  I remember in my first acting class they said, “You will be an actor in twenty years. So just stick with it. Everything you do up till then will be about learning how to do this.” And that is where I feel where we are both at now.  I can do this and I get it, and it’s become wide and rich inside both of us.

When you found out the reason Dixie was back and very much alive, thanks to Dr, David Hayward’s machinations, (although viewers don’t know and have not learned the whole story yet) where you like, “Oh my God! This is so far-fetched!”

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

CADY: I loved it! I thought it was “camp” and I think the element of “camp” in soaps makes it so much fun.  It’s silly and larger than life, and why not?  It’s like where anything can happen. It’s almost like being in Wizard of Oz land. You have your real characters and then you have these fantasies.  So, I was fine with it. (Laughs)

When you film your final episode of AMC, and you have to leave the studio and say goodbye to everyone for the final time (even though the show will be moving to the web, and we don’t know if you will be with it at that point) what will be your takeaway and fondest moments with the series?

CADY: We have four or so more weeks to shoot, so I am not done yet. I will definitely remember what I shot most recently that is coming up to air.  I remember that very deeply and fondly already. I also think I remember and will take away living on set the most over the years I have been on All My Children. I have talked about this before with Michael, that there is this wonderful world we get to live in and have happy families and Christmas time and miracles, and that has been a wonderful place for me to escape my own life, and for all the people that watch All My Children too. We all escape there. So I will miss that escape, I truly will.

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Cady, I’m just about to BURST!! I’m SO excited about your return in the form of being “ALIVE” and not a ghost! At this time, we have gotten to see you in a few episodes already, and of course, we have that constant anticipation for when Tad and Dixie are finally face-to-face once again. I truly hope you will continue on with AMC for many more years to come!
Much love, from just ONE of SO MANY “Soap Savers” across the nation who have never given up hope that our shows will live on…much like “Dixie”…(hahahahaha!)!
Kim Anderzak

When will we get more information from Prospect Park about how the online thing will work and who will be offered to stay? I just can’t take the suspense any longer. I love how the show is getting so much better and I know it will continue to be great online too.

Now THIS… Is something I’ve been waiting for. No ghost, the real, the Sunshine Song singer.. Dixie Cooney Martin… back again 😀 I watched ALL of the old episodes from 1988 til’ this day, and I’m 15. Dixie coming back, get’s me excited for next weeks Monday, When I’m NOT really a fan of Mondays Lol. Cady McClain, is the BEST at acting. I just really admire her. So the reunion and the reviving of Dixie? Officially made the year. I love Happy Endings, I just don’t want AMC to end when Dixie comes back, it’s been 5 years since she’s been alive and she only gets a couple of months? She deserves more, but I’m extremely in awe, and CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT!

i am so waiting for the dixie/tad reunion!
i hope she can get jr straightened out while she is in pine valley.

I am also a HUGE fan of the whole genre. I also am anxious to see how its going to work with the soaps on-line, but we have to have patience and let prospect park do what they have to do to make deals with the crews unions as well as the cast/actors & actresses on both shows. These contracts and deals take time. Hopefully, they will have it together soon!!

I have watched AMC and OLTL since my grandmother introduced them to me when they first began — I wonder if it will still be on soap net — or what I need to do – as I am a career person – and I record them every day – and watch on the weekends — and I just hate those nasty reality shows — who wants reality when the economy is horrible and people are losing homes and jobs — and I really don’t want ANY MORE REALITY — thank you very much — I’m a social worker – and I DO reality every day — 10 to 12 hours a day — and when I’m done – I AM DONE and want to watch something entertaining — that I can keep up with — and ENJOY!!! SO — if I have to see about hooking my tv up to the internet — I guess I will – unless it will be on Direct TV — but I sure hope I can continue to record it — as I don’t have time for tv during the week at all… and yet – I AM AN AVID watcher…

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like this Tad/Dixie Reunion was the absolute worse? Tad didn’t really even act like he was that excited to see her…… No tears, just a brief moment of acting as if he was stunned then that was it. The he goes to Cara and says he’s not for sure what’s going to happen with him and Dixie, and he feels more than a sense of obligation for Cara. Ok…..Tad has been moping around PV, looking at the sky while trying to reach out to Dixie’s spirit….constantly talking about Dixie and remembering her….Now he gets her back and he acts like he’s lost that special spark. This has just not been what I thought it was going to be. But I will try to remain hopeful for better scenes.

All My Children

Josh Duhamel to Star in Netflix Romance Drama ‘Ransom Canyon’

Former All My Children star and Daytime Emmy-winning actor, Josh Duhamel (ex-Leo duPres) will star in a new romantic series for Netflix. The streamer is expanding its romance brand with the upcoming drama, Ransom Canyon.

In story, Ransom Canyon “charts the intersecting lives of three ranching families, all set against the rugged expanse of Texas Hill Country.” It is said to be a romance-fueled family drama and contemporary Western rolled intoone.

Duhamel will take on the role of Staten Kirkland, said to be,”The owner and sole occupant of the sprawling Double K Ranch.” Staten is, “steadfast and stoic, and leads the charge to resist outside forces threatening his way of life and the land that he loves.”

Photo: JPI

Minka Kelly stars opposite Duhamel in the role of Quinn. According to the loglines, the character, “has often found herself in the shadow of others, but after a stint in New York pursuing her career as a concert pianist, she has returned to Ransom Canyon to carve out a new path for herself.”

The series has received a 1o-episode order. Ransom Canyon follows the success in this genre of show for Netflix s such as Virgin River and Sweet Magnolias. The show is created by executive producer April Blair, whoseTV credits include: Jane by Design; All AmericanHart of Dixie and the Gossip Girl reboot.

As for Josh, he has recently appeared in motion pictures in the Transformers franchise, as well as features such as Shotgun Wedding. and on TV, he appeared in the NBC miniseries, The Thing About Pam with Renee Zelleweger. Minka is best-known for her roles in Friday Night Lights and Euphoria.

So, intrigued by this new romance western drama starring Josh Duhamel and Minka Kelly? Comment below.

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All My Children

Billy Miller Memorial Scholarship Endowment Created at His Alma Mater to Help Others ‘Realize Their Dreams’

Two months since three-time Daytime Emmy-winning actor, Billy Miller passed away, the beloved All My Children (ex-Richie), General Hospital (ex-Jason/Drew) and The Young and the Restless (ex-Billy) star, will now have a permanent scholarship endowment in his honor at the University of Texas at Austin which was Miller’s alma mater.

Through the scholarship, it will be able to help radio/television and film undergraduate students with financial need. Billy’s family and friends have established this permanent scholarship in his memory, naming it the William Jon Miller II “Billy Miller” Memorial Scholarship. They hope the endowment will be a legacy to his life and love of acting.

Before becoming soap-famous, Billy graduated from the the university’s department of Radio-Television-Film (RTF) at the Moody College of Communication. On its official website, they shared the news of this special memorial scholarship and how Miller died at the age of 43 after surrendering his life to bipolar depression, which he struggled with his whole life.

Photo: JPI

Megan Hubbell, Billy’s sister, expressed, “We want something positive to be held in his name in perpetuity through the University he loved. He would be honored to know that even in death, he can help someone else realize their dreams.”

She added how she hoped her immensely talented brother will be remembered: “I hope BJ (as Billy was known by to his friends and family) is remembered for the kind-hearted, silly, funny, goofy, generous, beautiful soul that he was His megawatt smile, deep belly laugh and gorgeous mug were gifts on screen, but his true self was a bright light that will be carried with us forever.”

Photo: JPI

According to Miller’s family, Billy had his picks of schools and UT was his first choice. When he first came to the university, Billy started in the zoology program before switching to radio-television-film, where he felt he belonged. Miller was one of just 20 students at the time accepted into the department’s prestigious production-sequence program.

“BJ was extremely proud to be a Texas Longhorn and always remembered his time there fondly,” Hubbell said. “The time he spent at UT allowed him the space to explore who he wanted to be and what he wanted to accomplish.”

Photo: JPI

In honoring her brother’s work and strength to persevere in the often heartbreaking world of entertainment, Megan related: “I always admired the guts it took to go after a dream in Hollywood that so many people tried to discourage. He heard, ‘You’ll never make it’ more times than I care to count, but he used those comments as fuel and said, ‘Watch me.’”

Miller’s roles went far beyond those on daytime soap operas, as throughout his career he played major parts in primetime’s Suits, Ray Donovan and Castle to name but a few.

Photo: JPI

In his death, Billy’s family is encouraging people to take stock of their own mental health. “BJ would want anyone struggling with intrusive thoughts to seek professional help,” Hubbell said. “Do not suffer in silence or try to muscle through on your own. Mental health is vitally important and shouldn’t be spoken about in silos behind closed doors but rather in open forums with open arms. Shame has no place in the discussion to seek help.”

To donate to the William John Miller II “Billy Miller” Memorial Scholarship click here.

Share your thoughts on Billy’s family and friends, along with his alma mater, setting up this memorial scholarship endowment to help other talented young people in financial need get a shot at realizing their dreams via the comment section below.

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All My Children

‘Live with Kelly and Mark’ Scores Touchdown in Ratings with Taylor Swift-Inspired ‘Halloween: The Eras Show’ Delivering Largest Audience In Over A Year

More great numbers for Live with Kelly and Mark. The talk shows Live’s Halloween: The Eras Show scored an impressive 2.9M total viewers on October 31, making it the most-watched Halloween episode in four years, according to the Nielsen ratings.

The episode also delivered some of the highest ratings in seven months for the morning show, particularly among women 18-49 and 25-54. Live’s Halloween: The Eras Show also pulled in a 1.92 household rating, as well as a 0.47 among women in the key 18 to 49 demo and a 0.69 among women 25 to 54. Those are up over the last two years of Halloween episodes and since Consuelos first started in the co-host chair back in April.

According to Deadline, Live’s Halloween: The Eras Show, also pulled in the largest audience numbers for a single episode in more than a year and half.

Photo: Disney/ABC

As is tradition with “Live’s Halloween” episodes, they are always filled with costume and pop culture moments and special guest surprises. Ripa and Consuelos were right in step with the biggest social media love story at the moment; that of Swift and her burgeoning romance with Kansas City Chiefs Tight End, Travis Kelce.

During Halloween week which started on Monday, October 30, Live was up up 11% versus the week prior in total viewers, and averaged 2.6 million viewers throughout the week.  Year-over-year, the talk show was up that week by 15% in terms of total viewers.  It looks like the former All My Children’s alum on-screen chemistry is just as palpable as it off-screen; as the two marrieds are making quite a successful run together on morning television.

Photo: Disney/ABC

So, what do you think of the impressive numbers for the Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos on ‘Live’? Did you enjoy their recent Halloween episode? Share your comments below.

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