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Former SOAPnet General Manager Deborah Blackwell Has Passed Away!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Sad news to report today.  Deborah Blackwell, who was in charge of bringing SOAPnet to the forefront in its original version passed away on Friday after a seven-year battle with Pick’s disease, a rare neuro-degenerative disorder.  According to Deadline.com, “Blackwell passed away at the age of 63 in Virginia, surrounded by family.”

Blackwell was named the cable channel’s General Manager from its inception in 2001 through to 2007. During her tenure, SOAPnet grew its programming slate via a slew of acquisitions of primetime and daytime soaps as well as its distribution as the genre enjoyed popularity.  Deborah brought Soap Center, Soap Talk, I Wanna Be A Soap Star, Soapography, One Day With...” and other series and specials to the all-soap network along with ABC same day and date episodes of ABC’s All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital and later added Sony shows Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless.

When Blackwell left her post in 2007, there was clearly a shift away from original programming to more programming acquisitions.  It was after Blackwell left that daytime soaps began to lose traction, leading to Disney’s recent decision to rebrand SOAPnet as Disney Jr.  

Before joining SOAPnet, Blackwell served as president of Idealab’s MyHome.com, an internet start-up. From 1993-99, Blackwell headed the TV movie and miniseries department of the William Morris Agency, packaging projects with such clients as Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Glover, Alec Baldwin and Drew Barrymore. Before becoming an agent, Blackwell was a development executive at Hearst Entertainment, rising from director to SVP.

So what do you think of the news of the passing of Deborah Blackwell?  Do you enjoy SOAPnet in its original incarnation before it became watered down and away from its original concept? Let us know!

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jimh(leave it to beaver)
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jimh(leave it to beaver)

Sad to hear about her passing…i miss soapnet…maybe had they kept it like its original incarnation and continued with original programing it might still be with us…i didnt even get Disney Jr., the channel is completely gone from my line up!!!

Mary SF
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Mary SF

She sound like a lovely woman who made a great contribution to her industry. Condolences to her family and friends.

Eve Jones
Guest
Eve Jones

I am sorry to hear that Billy Miller is leaving the Y & R. He made Billy Abbott believable and likable despite his many sins. I’ve never seen the original actor, Tom David, in this role. I’ll give him a chance. We’ll see.

Tom
Guest
Tom

That is so sad. My condolences to her family.

Michael
Guest
Michael

Sad news. I loved the original SoapNet.

gloria
Guest
gloria

The years she was in charge of SoapNet were the best, I loved all the original programming plus having the chance to see my daytime shows at my convenience, to watch again even if I’d seen them earlier in the day. It was a comfort to turn to SoapNet late at night & see my shows again. I am sorry she is gone at such a young age & sorry for her friends & family.

Iakovos
Guest
Iakovos

Thank you, Michael, for noting this woman’s contributions and successes. Clearly, Deborah Blackwell was a savvy programmer and researcher and an ally of daytime. SOAPNET was an immediate hit with me and now I know who was responsible for that entertainment and opoprtunities for disucssion and education about the genre.

Shelly
Guest
Shelly

This is sad news indeed. I repeat what others have said, the first few years of SoapNet were the best. Anyone remember “Disfunctional Family Night”, replaying some of the best nighttime soap episodes. A true champion of the soap genre, may she rest in peace.

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

Such awful news!!!!! My condolences to Deborah Blackwell’s family.

MBmomof3
Guest
MBmomof3

Sad news. I loved SOAPnet and it was truly at its best under her leadership. She saw the potential and brought it to the fans. She impacted viewers’ lives in a very positive way by bringing great entertainment into our homes. I hope her family and friends find peace and know that her business accomplishments were truly appreciated.

Gmbenet
Guest
Gmbenet

My condolences to Ms. Blackwell’s family, friends and all who worked with her at SOAPnet. While I never knew of her until the announcement of her untimely passing, I am certainly very familiar with her work. I thoroughly enjoyed many of the original shows named above. As soap fan I was pleasantly surprised by what I found when I discovered the existence of SOAPnet and I am confident my enjoyment of that network’s programming is what Ms. Blackwell envisioned as she created original shows for soap fans. If there is ever a Soap Opera Museum created, I do hope there… Read more »

Gary Anhalt
Guest
Gary Anhalt

ya,id love watching soapnet.if i missed it.it still be on…

All My Children

Mark Consuelos on the All My Children Primetime Reboot: “I Know They’re Going to Bring Back Some Fan Favorites”

On Friday, Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo, AMC) was a guest on the CBS afternoon series, The Talk, where he shared his excitement and some insight into the upcoming All My Children primetime reboot, Pine Valley, in development at ABC..

As previously reported, Mark and his wife Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley, AMC) are two of the executive producers on the project.

Consuelos shared on the reboot:All My Children was such a big part of my life and my wife’s life. And you know, I met my wife there obviously, had kids, became a young man on that show, and we got the opportunity to reboot the primetime version and the idea was brought to us, and we’re so excited.  Of all the things that we’ve ever announced that we’re going to do, this is one of the biggest responses we’ve got from our fans. They’re so excited.  It’s a big piece of TV that’s been missing for such a long time, and we’re going to bring it back.”

When avid soap fan and The Talk co-host, Sheryl Underwood, posed a major question to Consuelos that has been on longtime All My Children fans minds, she got a solid response from him.

Sheryl was trying to get some tea on who might appear in the reboot, when she asked, “Is it going to be the Cortlandts and the Warners? Is it going to be everybody?” Consuelos then responded with: “I know they’re going to bring back some fan favorites, and it will take place in Pine Valley, and I’m really, really excited.”

You can watch a portion of Mark’s virtual visit on The Talk below.

Then let us know, which AMC characters do you want to see back and on the primetime series, Pine Valley?  Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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All My Children

Will AMC Favorite Josh Duhamel Replace Armie Hammer in JLo’s Film, ‘Shotgun Wedding’?

After a controversial few weeks, which saw Armie Hammer exit his leading role opposite Jennifer Lopez in Liongate’s upcoming romantic-comedy/adventure film Shotgun Wedding, it appears the motion picture has found its replacement if the ink is signed.

Former All My Children and Daytime Emmy winner Josh Duhamel (Ex-Leo) has been picked as Hammer’s replacement.

The film tells the story of a couple that gathers their families for a destination wedding even as they get cold feet. If that wasn’t enough, the entire party then gets taken hostage.

Lopez and Hammer were headed for the film shoot in the Dominican Republic when salacious DM’s rumored to be attributed to  Hammer came to light on social media and derailed the films for now.  However, if Duhamel signs on to the film, they could can retain its start date in February

Hammer had responded to the allegations against him and the DM’s by sharing: “I’m not responding to these bullshit claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for 4 months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic,”

A Lionsgate spokesperson  also responded to Hammer and his exit sharing: “Given the imminent start date of Shotgun Wedding, Armie has requested to step away from the film, and we support him in his decision.”

The Hollywood Reporter first broke the casting news update.

So what do you think of Duhamel as Hammer’s replacement to play opposite JLO? Comment below.

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All My Children

‘ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway’ One-Night Only Streaming Concert With Favorites from AMC, GH and OLTL

Beloved stars from All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital will reunite for ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway, a one-night-only streaming concert benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.   The free streamed event can be viewed on the Broadway Cares website beginning at 8 pm Eastern on Thursday, February 11.

Additionally, the event can be seen on Broadway Cares’ YouTube Channel, ABC-owned television stations’ 32 connected TV apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku and each of the eight stations’ websites around the country, including abc7ny.com and Good Morning America’s Facebook page..

PhotoL ABC

The star-studded lineup will include performances by All My Children’s Bobbie Eakes, Melissa Claire Egan, Vincent Irizarry, Eva La Rue, Susan Lucci, Cameron Mathison, Eden Riegel, Chrishell Stause and Walt Willey, One Life to Live’s Kristen Alderson, BethAnn Fuenmayor, Kathy Brier, Kassie DePaiva, David Gregory, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Catherine Hickland, Mark Lawson, Hillary B. Smith, Jason Tam and Brittany Underwood; and General Hospital’s Bradford Anderson, Brandon Barash and Anthony Geary..

For the February 11 streaming special, viewers can expect to hear a bevy of Broadway classics and jazzy standards.  The streaming event will be directed by John Dietrich, who also directed each of the live stage performances.

Dedicated fans also will have the opportunity for one-on-one virtual meet-and-greets with their favorite soap stars on Saturday, February 13.  Further information on tickets and the lineup of special guests  will be announced later this month.

From 2005-2011, the stars of ABC Daytime took the stage at New York City’s Town Hall one night each year for ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares. The evening featured dynamic production numbers, heartfelt ballads and hilarious skitsNow, 10 years after that final performance, the iconic ABC Daytime actors revisit their performances as they help raise money for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the event began in 2005. it was for a one-night benefit concert to celebrate All My Children’s 35th Anniversary. With overwhelming support from fans, the event continued for six more years and included cast members from One Life to Live, General Hospital and co-hosts of The View. Over its seven-year run, ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares raised an incredible $1.85 million.

“This event is truly one of a kind,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said. “We are so thankful to the stars from ABC Daytime for joining us again as we relive moments from this delightful tradition, while helping to provide lifesaving medication, healthy meals and emergency support to those struggling during this ongoing pandemic.”

“It was such an incredible privilege and joy to join my fellow co-stars to perform in the seven ABC Daytime Salutes concerts to benefit Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS,” said former All My Children star Susan Lucci. “There are no fans like ABC Daytime fans. Their love and support continue to astonish us.  We can’t wait to share these special performances with them and help raise money for so many in need during this difficult time.”

Lucci also shared her excitement on her Instagram account expressing: “We’re getting the fans and cast back together!!! Join us on Thursday, February 11 at 8pm for “ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway”—a fabulous online event revisiting seven years of singing, dancing and plot twists, featuring your favorite ABC Daytime stars. And it’s all to help Broadway Cares support our friends and neighbors who are struggling during this pandemic. Watch the stream at
broadway-cares.org, to join the fun! I hope to see you there!”

So excited to hear about the ABC Daytime Back to Broadway event? Let us know in the comment section, and check out the announcement from The View’s Whoopi Goldberg below.

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