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Crystal Chappell's The Grove The Series Debuts! – Watch the Pilot Episode!

Courtesy/OpenBookProds

Courtesy/OpenBookProds

Just in time to ring in 2013, Crystal Chappell finally has released her highly-anticipated new project, The Grove The Series. The pilot episode features so many of your daytime favorites including: Jessica Leccia, Robert S. Woods, Michelle Stafford, Christian LeBlanc, Jordan Clarke, Mark Hapka, Bobbie Eakes, Nadia Bjorlin, Beth Maitand, Peter Reckell, Linsey Godfrey, Judi Evans, and Harrison White.  The story tells the tale of two longtime feuding families against the backdrop of Nico (Chappell) and Ivy’s (Leccia) wedding (although they were legally married a few years before, this was to be a celebration for themselves, friends, and family).

The just released pilot is an hour plus, but sets up the story nicely as the valued land of The Grove provides plenty of dramatic tension, as we learn the dynamics of the relationships of all the characters.

It was wonderful to see Robert S. Woods again in a part worthy of his talents.  As well, Jessica Leccia delivered one of her best performances, and creator Chappell is always stellar!  It was also noteworthy to see Christian LeBlanc, back in bad boy mode, and Nadia Bjorlin in quite the departure from her roles as Lara on Venice, or Chloe on DAYS.  Michelle Stafford also did some fine work, and we hope to see more of her character when the series continues.  And how great it was to see Beth Maitland, Peter Reckell, and Mark Hapka again!

Watch the pilot of The Grove The Series after the jump and let us know your thoughts! Do you like the story?  Who was your favorite in the pilot episode? 

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Darlene
Darlene

What a fabulous time I had watching this!! Crystal Chappell has done it again! The actors were fabulous. the Story interesting…. Can’t wait to see more!!

Andrea
Andrea

I loved it. The whole cast is excellent . It is great to see Bob Woods again an in such a heartfelt role. Beth Maitland was another stand out character for me. Great show!!

Stephanie
Stephanie

I thought it was great!!! I loved seeing RSW on screen again. He looked so at home and so alive working on this project. It was so nice to see him in a role that was suited for him.

Tricia
Tricia

Crystal has done it again! What a cast and crew! I thought it was very well written and looked great. Congrats toall involved. Thanks for reviewing it, Michael.

Perla
Perla

The story was well put together, everybody was in their elements. This serie has the best actors and i mean all of them. Bravo to the people that had work behind the scenes (Team OBP).

heidi
heidi

It was very good to see Robert S. Woods again! He was my favorite! It looks good… but some of the language was gratuitous and I am sure that makes me old fashioned. The writing seems to be well done. Some of the characters are a bit annoying and maybe a bit too strange. Jessica does seem to be so natural and at ease with the character.

Barbara
Barbara

I guess I’m old fashioned too. Just because you CAN use the language doesn’t mean you should overdo it. JUST MY OPINION… I do love the show , the quality of the production, and the characters’ dynamics. And it’s nice to see Jessica Leccia allowed to “stretch” more. She seems to really be in her element. 🙂

heidi
heidi

Thanks for verablizing it better than I did and for agreeing too!

Blake
Blake

Love it! Look at all the great talent on this show! Crystal is so great with these web soaps!

Cubfnatic
Cubfnatic

I absolutely love the Grove! Thank you Crystal for bringing all of these actors together for us! So great to see them. Crystal and Michael brought us a brilliant show!

BS
BS

I really liked it and loved seeing RSW, BM, CLB, MS, BE and others together in one show. Jessica was so gorgeous and it was one of her strongest performances for sure. The chemistry between JL & CC was still there for me. It was different than in other roles but just as strong. I wish we were seeing more of The Grove soon.

Joyce All
Joyce All

I loved The Grove I love Nico & Ivy both and there is three parts of it 1 is when they first met 2nd is when they knew they loved each other 3rd the wedding ceremony loved the song Nico chosen to walk down the isle.Crystal is a Amazing writer and Actress.Everybody involved the cast and crew did a amazing job on the show.Joyce All

kelltwomyn
kelltwomyn

There are so many noteworthy performances that it’s difficult to name them all, but standouts include Nadia Bjorlin and Beth Maitland (hilarious mother-daughter team!), Judi Evans, The Stafford, CJ LeBlanc, and of course, Chappell and Leccia. Their chemistry is unparallelled, no matter what venue. I’ve watched it twice, just to absorb everything…and there is so much! The best compliment a show can receive is the question “when do I get to see more?”.

Thank you, Michael, for showcasing The Grove. It’s a must-see.

Rdblaz
Rdblaz

Great job by Crystal and OBP. Enjoyed seeing Jessica act out a Hepburn imitation immensely!

Ldawntoo
Ldawntoo

it was a pleasure to watch this story unfold. The Chemistry of CC & Jl does not dissappoint. Glad to see a story showing the love of this couple and how it will unfold in time. The series left enough anticipation of further story lines to keep us wanting more. CC does not dissappoint and JL looked beautiful in her gown . Nadia was hysterical and Nico daughter both prove to be interesting characters as it grows..Bravo

Madison
Madison

Nico’s daughter – Lindsy Godfrey is quite an actress, too. She’s so natural and sweet and charming. Wonderful role model for children of gay parents.

Love the fact that the one and only SUSAN FLANNERY is involved along with all the other behind-the-scene folks that don’t always get the credit like those folks in front of the camera.

My only minor complaint was that on ocassion, the camera seemed to jump around a bit.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. This show “THE GROVE” and the story have so much potential. I want to know more about these families past and present and definitely the FUTURE!!

Madison
Madison

I forgot one thing — I loved the setting!!

Chris
Chris

As expected from CC an awesome show, her talent truly amazes me. Her selection of the cast is outstanding.

denise
denise

The Grove is excellent! It has fantastic story lines, writing, and acting!

Joshua
Joshua

Won’t support anything Chappell does after her approval of that bully Melissa Reeves this past summer.

hatnanpolmak
hatnanpolmak

Approval? What approval? You may wish to revisit what actually happened. If anything Crystal proposed some hard questions of Melissa that went loudly unanswered.

Cindy
Cindy

Love CC and all of the fabulous actors on The Grove. Also LOVE LOVE LOVE Venice, the Series. But, unfortunately, The Grove just didn’t keep my interest. Watched about 45 minutes of it and … nothing. Very sorry to say it, too.

susan M.
susan M.

I rather see Robert Woods on OLTL IF it comes on line. Everyone here seems to like The Groove. But I watched about five minutes of it and it’s not my cup of tea.

RobinAshleyLove
RobinAshleyLove

This was a great cast, great acting, great cinematography and production. All-in-all very well done. I found myself liking the characters, they were all very distinct and the story line has me interested in what is to come. I have to admit I am pleasantly surprised. Even though it featured the same leads as Venice, I not once felt a resemblance between the two shows, didn’t even think of it while watching.

Jeanie Borchelt
Jeanie Borchelt

Amazing Show. Great acting. I am watching it for the third time. Great music, setting, storyline, and beautiful actors with great comedic timing and realistic. Can hardly wait for the next episode.
Thanks for a great show.
Jeanie Borchelt from Sonoma Ca.

Danielle
Danielle

I absolutely loved it! So many great performances from all involved, but I have to say that Nadia Bjorlin and Jessica Leccia did it for me. I loved seeing Nadia in a comedic role. She had me laughing out loud with her facial expressions and delivery of her lines. Jessica Leccia was simply perfect. I didn’t want the pilot to end and I’m so looking forward to seeing more of “The Grove!’

Lara
Lara

Omg yeah, Nadia made me laugh so hard 😀 Like you said, the facial expression, and it was hilarious how she was constantly chewing chewing gum. I feel so sorry for her, I guess at the end of the shoot she was sick of any chewing gum at all 😀

Jackson
Jackson

I am in awe with such a great story line, cast and acting. The Grove is …… WOW!!! Exciting!!!

Sierra
Sierra

Am I wrong in thinking that there are no immediate plans for more of The Grove? The pilot is all we get for now?

Natalie
Natalie

I loved it. seeing all the people I watch or have watched on daytime, that was great. Crystal Chappell Has done it again, awesome work. Love seeing chritian LaBlanc play a bad boy again. Loved it all. great acting across the board.

lenafreed
lenafreed

I love the soap genre so much and it was a real treat to see all these wonderful actors in The Grove. Beth Maitland is a gem – her performance really stood out for me and I always love how CC and JL interact with each other. I enjoyed the humorous moments and the soapy story lines. I hope very much that this Pilot will lead to a series both on line and perhaps on cable. I would so love to see a true soap opera channel with new original programming on cable or even on the internet.

lisa
lisa

The acting was superb. Crystal and Jessica really captured the emotion felt between NIcho and Ivy.

olddoolfan
olddoolfan

What shines is the ensemble strength of this cast and a genuinely clever and warm script (major props to Michael Sabatino, Crystal Chappell and Paul Barber). Maitland, Bjorlin and Le Blanc perhaps steal the show … so deliciously wrong but oh so right. Woods, Clarke and Reckell are all class..as always. Leccia delivers the first performance I have felt genuinely comfortable watching from start to finish. She seems in an easy place with Ivy and it shows. Crystal is Crystal .. I am not sure much more needs to be said. Powerhouse .. particularly during her vows. Sniff. Godfrey is light and fun. Stafford and Eakes … “who’s drooling .. who’s the one who’s drooling” … what a win for Chappell to add them to the Open Book family. Add to that beautiful locations and a soundtrack (including a perfectly original theme by Kelly Moneymaker) to be proud of and this is a must see production on every level. It really shows when a cast and crew is genuinely invested. Making drama for the sake of good drama.

Peacetat
Peacetat

The Grove pilot was a great mix of comedy and drama. With some extremely talented actors. I am looking forward to seeing more from OBP and Crystal Chappell.

Michele
Michele

Loved it! Michael & Crystal did a great job pulling this together. Outstanding performances by a stellar group of actors. The chemistry between Jessica Leccia and Crystal Chappell is still there. The production value was great, the scenery – spectacular, the storylines held my interest and left me wanting more. I sure hope this series will continue! Great job as well by the crew, directors and producers (Hilary B. Smith, Susan Flannery, Karen Wilkens, Katherine Kelly Lang and Crystal Chappell).

carla reed
carla reed

Loved it so much. Hurry up and get some more up for us. We miss all the great actors from the soaps that are no longer on. Thank you so much!!!

PalmGirl73
PalmGirl73

No surprise yet another brilliant show by Crystal and Michael! Brilliant!!, Such a fantastic brilliant cast! cant wait for more ! Love the Grove!

Scott
Scott

Crystal Chappell and her husband are creative geniuses. The Grove is amazing; and I believe it to already be better and more serialized than Venice. It’s brilliant and I look forward to future episodes!

Venicepolice
Venicepolice

What can i say but our girl has done it again. Everything Crystal touches turns to gold. She puts her whole heart and soul into everything she does and along with Michael (boots) Sabatino and the Open book team including the amazing Susan Flannery, Hilary B Smith and Kathering Kelly Lang to lead the team it is clear that they have another hit on their hands. My favourite performance is by our Nadia Bjorlin and Beth Maitland who made me lol so much sitting on the couches watching the spanish soap. Nadia & Beth doing comedy is pure gold. The chemistry and emotion that Jess and Crystal put into their scenes are so cute and adorable. Love all the cast and crew so much for bringing us such an amazing show and i can’t wait for more.

SUE H
SUE H

What a fantastic 1+hrs. Continue dreaming big CC and MS…inspiration to anyone having a dream and then seeing it brought to life. Amazing cast and crew. CC + JL still have such great chemistry…best performance yet for Leccia, she seemed so happy and was having fun. NB was hilarious RW was gracious and is such a talented actor. The cinematography WOW and what a great storyline, that get me captivated!!! Bravo OBP team. Bravo Crystal. Look forward to future episodes!

KT
KT

Loved it! Very good story that moved along quickly. Nice to see all of my favorite soap stars! Thanks CC, can’t wait to see the next edition…

PJ
PJ

Brilliantly done! “Thank You!” to everyone involved in bringing this pilot to us. Looking forward to more of “The Grove”.

Brenda
Brenda

I watched this on twitter a few days ago and loved it. I especially love Beth Maitland’s character. It was so great seeing some of soap favs again. I hope we see more of this saga.

Grove Groovy
Grove Groovy

I love the new show. I love the people in it and I can’t wait to see more!

Esmeralda
Esmeralda

Maravillosa actuación de Jessica Leccia, fresca, hermosa, creible absolutamente en su papel de Ivy. Crystal, como siempre estupenda en su papel. Grato ver a a la actriz Linsey Godfrey, después de haber superado sus problemas de salud. Su papel de Poppy es fresco, agradable, amoroso. Ha sido un placer disfrutar de este piloto, del cual espero se desarrolle la serie que seguro será un éxito de seguir mejorando, en este ritmo de calidad en temática, diálogos, mezcla de comedia y drama. Por los momentos me gustó. (Traductor Google) Wonderful performance by Jessica Leccia, fresh, beautiful, utterly believable in his role as Ivy. Crystal, as always great in his role. Nice to see aa actress Linsey Godfrey, after having overcome their health problems. His role as Poppy is fresh, friendly, loving. It was a pleasure to enjoy this pilot, which I hope to develop the series is sure to be a success for further improvement in this rate of quality thematic dialogues, mix of comedy and drama. For now I liked.

Paula
Paula

I love this show and was so Awesome! I so love the Green that it was breathtaking. Crystal and the gang did a super damn job. The cussing was great and it was like any family out there (funny, it was a bit of a turned on for me) LMAO!. Excellent job Crystal and can’t wait to watch the next one!

Jo
Jo

I loved the pilot of the Grove! It was Awesome and Amazing!
Crystal,Michael,Hilary,Susan and other Producers,directors and crew people made it look so easy!
Congratulations to a wonderful job!
The best part was that I was able to see my favorite guy back n actin and onscreen !
Mr.Robert Woods was fabulous and just amazing in this role as Doyle Monihan.
He is a wonderful,fun,cool guy to hang out with as well.
Well done …..Everyone!
Can’t wait to see the next Episodes!
Anyone know when that will be ?

Adam
Adam

I LOVED IT! Great to see all of my favorite soap stars working together to tell what is shaping up to be a great story! I can’t want to see the next episode!

Jill Nelson
Jill Nelson

Loved it. Watched several times. Everything CC does is passionate and magical. Loved Nadia’s performance. Such honest chemistry between our favs CC and JL….such a wonderful production from start to finish. Fans say they want more…..here’s hoping Michael and Crystal hear us loudly!!! Thank you!!!

Carla Rodgers
Carla Rodgers

KUDOS Ms. Chappell!!!!

Brownie
Brownie

The Grove is interesting, but in some way missed the good writing of Venice.
Loved seeing all of the pros, especially, my favorite, Jordan Clarke. He plays a nasty person through and through, not a good guy underneathh. It is good to see him stretch his acting chops.
Good work.

Rose
Rose

Loved the show – can’t wait to see more

Bobwww
Bobwww

WHY the cursing??? You’re gonna lose a lot of viewers. Good.

sarah dioxn
sarah dioxn

I’ve seen the first series i guess u call it that so good to see all my old actors and actress on one show had missed them. this is great but how do you get to the second one if there is one am new at this computer stuff and really need a lot of help but i want to see more. How can i do that? dont want to miss the next one been trying but can’t get it figure out. THANKS

kels
kels

I love it, I love me some Nico and Ivy- been in love with them since guiding light days, can’t wait to ser morr

Lynda Michaels
Lynda Michaels

I am so thrilled that I found the Grove. I am a huge RSW fan and he did not disappoint. The entire cast was fantastic. Great story. Ican not wait to see more.

All My Children

Justin Hartley, Judith Light, Finn Wittrock Score 24th Annual Critics’ Choice Award Nominations

This morning, nominations were announced in the fields of motion picture and television for the 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards given out by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association.  The kudofest will be held on January 13th on the CW airing at 7PMET/PT.

Leading the pack in the TV field was the final season of The Americans and limited series Escape at Dannemora and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story with five nominations.

This Is Us as with the Golden Globes did not come up with a Drama Series nod, however at the Critics’ Choice Awards two if its stars:  Milo Ventimiglia and Justin Hartley were nominated.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

For Hartley, the former Y&R star received an nod in the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category,  While Ventimigilia, who plays Justin’s on-screen dad, is vying the Lead Actor Drama category.

Judith Light, the former two-time Daytime Emmy winner from One Life to Live, received a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television category for her performance in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

While yet, another former daytime, Finn Wittrock (Ex-All My Children) in the Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television category also for “Versace”.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

To view the complete list in all motion picture and TV categories click here.

Now, let us know if you are happy to hear that Justin, Judith, and Finn received nominations for their work? Comment below!

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All My Children

Former Executive Producer & Director of All My Children, Jorn Winther Dead Following Two-Vehicle Collision

Very sad news to report.  Renowned director, Jorn Winther, who served as executive producer and director at All My Children has died at the age of 88.

Winther was actually killed on November 9th when in an automobile accident in front of Palm Desert High School outside Palm Springs.

According to the Desert Sun, “Jorn was killed in a two-vehicle collision at Cook Street and Santa Fe Trail in Palm Desert. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said a vehicle was moving south on Cook Street when its driver suddenly entered the northbound lanes and collided with an oncoming vehicle,  Winther was pronounced dead shortly after noon Friday, according to the Riverside County Coroner’s office. His wife of 31 years, Claire Winther, confirmed that her husband drove the vehicle that entered oncoming traffic. Why he did so remains a mystery.”

The famous director was best known for for the landmark David Frost-Richard Nixon interviews in 1977,  The Sonny & Cher Hour, and was also known for producing rock performances for TV including: California Jam II, featuring performances by Aerosmith, Foreigner, Heart, Santana and more.

In the world of soaps, Jorn had been the EP and director for ABC”s All My Children for five and half years, and had been with the series from 1981 to 2005.  He also directed on: One Life to Live, Generations, Santa Barbara and Rituals.

Born in Denmark, Winther studied speech and drama at the University of Copenhagen and continued his education at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen, where his mother had danced as a prima ballerina. He also studied at the Stratford Shakespearean Theater in Ontario, Canada, and at Stanford.

Most recently, Winther directed and produced the independent film Do It or Die!, about the 1979 kidnapping of socialite Elaine Chaddick. It screened at the 2017 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Winther’s daughter, Lisa has been a stage manager on the soaps most recently working at The Bold and the Beautiful.

Share your thoughts on the passing of Jorn Winther as we offer our thoughts, condolences, and prayers to his family, via the comment section below.

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All My Children

Kelly Ripa To Guest Star On CW’s Riverdale

Here’s a fun bit of casting news!  Live with Kelly and Ryan and former All My Children star, Kelly Ripa  (Ex-Hayley) is joining her real-life husband, Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo, AMC) on the hit CW soapy drama Riverdale.

Consuelos already plays the the role of Hiram Lodge, and now Ripa will plays his mistress, Mrs. Mulwray.

Kelly shared the inspired-casting choice on Instagram relating: “It’s a family affair …23 years of auditioning for a role i was born to play. Coming soon to the CW;s Riverdale.”’

The CW released a statement on the casting of Ripa, adding: “Kelly Ripa will guest star on Riverdale as Mrs. Mulwray. Confident and tough, she is Hiram Lodge’s alleged mistress. She’s a beautiful, icy, femme fatale who gets caught up in a conspiracy that’s much bigger than she initially realized.”

Film buffs take note!  Ripa’s character name is borrowed from Faye Dunaway’s Oscar-nominated role in Chinatown (1974), Evelyn Mulwray.   Those who saw Chinatown know that Evelyn was a femme fatale as well caught up in a conspiracy!

And there is more “All in the Consuleos Family” casting.  The couple’s son Michael is portraying the teen-aged version of Hiram on tonight’s all-new episode.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT

So, will you be checking out Kelly on Riverdale? Comment below.

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