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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
Guest
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

Beloved Soap Stars Left Out of 2021 Primetime Emmy Broadcast In-Memoriam Tribute

Last night, during the presentation of the 73rd annual Primetime Emmys broadcast on CBS, the annual In-Memoriam segment brought with it so many households names in a year that saw so many legacy talents and more pass away.

The tribute was performed by Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste to Bridge’s song, “River”, and as the images of the departed played across the screens from Cloris Leachman to Cicely Tyson, to Ed Asner to Michael K. Williams, and more, it was clear that several of the major late daytime soap stars were not included in the on-air tribute as well as other omissions.

Now granted, we know they will all be a part of next year’s 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in-memoriam segment, but still these actors were a part of this community and not only appeared on the soaps, but other shows as well.

Those that daytime fans noticed were not included were: Michael Nader (Ex-Dex Dexter and Dimitri Marick, Dynasty and All My Children) Stuart Damon (Ex-Alan Quartermaine, General Hospital), Ray MacDonnell (Ex-Joe Martin, All My Children) and Jay Pickett (Ex-Frank Scanlon, Port Charles).

From primetime MIA action were: Michael Constantine (Ex-Room 222), Tanya Roberts (Ex-Charlie’s Angeles), Director, Richard Donner, writer Larry McMurty, and DMX, to name but a few.

However, the Television Academy did list all of its members who died on their website in the In-Memoriam section, because due to time constraints, they could not possibly showcase everyone.

What do you feel about the omissions of Nader, Damon, MacDonnell, Pickett, and more from the In-Memoriam tribute? Let us know in the comment section, but first watch the segment.

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All My Children

AMC Alum Sarah Michelle Gellar Reflecting on Her Time on Soaps: “Anything I Can Do to Continue the Legacy I’m Very Proud Of”

Daytime fans knew of Sarah Michelle Gellar her way before her Buffy the Vampire Slayer days, when she stepped on to the small screen as Erica’s (Susan Lucci) troubled daughter Kendall Hart on ABC’s All My Children. 

Gellar played the role from 1993 to 1995, and made a brief return in 2011 as the show came to its conclusion on ABC. Additionally, Sarah won a Daytime Emmy for her performance in the Outstanding Younger Actress category in 1995.

Photo: NATAS

Sarah has partnered with Lysol for their brand’s Disinfecting Wipes “Buy One, Donate One” program. where now through September 26, whenever a pack of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes is purchased, another pack will automatically be donated to an under-resourced school through the Kids In Need Foundation.

The program is aimed to help curb the spread of illness-causing germs in schools this back-to-school season, a total of up to 16 million packs of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes will be donated to Title I schools across the country.

The program is the latest component of Lysol’s HERE for Healthy Schools initiative. Started in 2019 with the mission to help curb the spread of preventable illness and to help kids miss less school so they are able to learn, grow and thrive, HERE for Healthy Schools has provided educational materials for students and Lysol disinfecting supplies for educators and administrators to more than 49,000 schools across the country. This year, HERE for Healthy Schools is focused on helping to protect children, educators and parents as they make their big return to in-person learning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking with TV Insider on the partnership, Gellar recalled her time on the soaps and how it changed her career and outlook, noting: “it was the training ground for the rest of my career.”

She went on to say: “I made incredible friends at that time and I learned incredible work habits, and soap operas are an intense amount of work, and I’m incredibly grateful for that time and the people that I met.  We live in a world now where my kids don’t even really know what a soap opera is, so anything I can do to continue the legacy I’m very proud of.”

So, do you remember Sarah’s time on AMC? What do you think of her thoughts on her time on the soaps? Comment below.

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All My Children

‘Dynasty’ and ‘All My Children’ Co-Stars React to the Death of Michael Nader

UPDATED: Yesterday, Michael Fairman TV broke the news of the passing of Michael Nader (Ex-Dex, Dynasty and Dimitri, All My Children).  As reported, Michael died on Monday morning of an untreatable form of cancer at his home in Northern California with his wife, Jodi, and his beloved dog, Storm by his side.

Since then, several of Nader’s former Dynasty and All My Children co-stars have taken to social media with their reactions and remembrances after having learned that he has no longer with us.

From his leading ladies, Joan Collins and Susan Lucci, to Emma Samms and John James, Eva LaRue, Finola Hughes, Maxwell Caufield, Vincent Irizarry and more, so many are taking a moment to share their grief and outpouring of love for Michael.

Michael Fairman TV will continue to update this post throughout the day as more remembrances are posted.

Here are what several of Nader’s former co-stars and colleagues shared below:

Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica, All My Children):”MICHAEL NADER—so handsome, so talented—so wonderful and beloved as All My Children’s DIMITRI MARICK—and a great love of “Erica Kane”. I am so lucky to have played opposite Michael—playing some of the most romantic scenes ever—dancing in palaces in Budapest, our gorgeous Greek Orthodox wedding, complete with crowns. Michael was a doll to work with and to know.  RIP, Michael💙💙💙🙏🙏🙏”

Joan Collins (Ex-Alexis, Dynasty): “Very sad to hear of the death of my onscreen husband and lover #michaelnader aka #dexdexter – I loved working with him and his character was a wonderful mixture of tough and tender. #alexis was crazy to keep on rejecting him! #rip #ripmichaelnader”

Photo: ABC/Getty

Emma Samms (Ex-Fallon, Dynasty): “Incredibly sad news about Michael Nader. What a blessing it was to have had his participation and support for our Dynasty Reunion fundraiser back in March. Thinking of his wife Jodi and sending condolences to all of his many fans.”

Photo: Amazon

John James (Ex-Jeff, Dynasty): “I’m so sad to hear, that my dear friend Michael Nader passed away. We shared some great laughs together and I will miss miss you buddy. Sending prayers to the family.”

Finola Hughes (Ex-Alex, All My Children): “Oh #michaelnader sweet man. I worked with him so briefly, but he cared about his craft and his fellow actors. Sending much love and condolences to his family ❤️”

Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria, All My Children): “So heartbreaking to hear about the passing of Michael Nader! The sweetest man, with the best stories and the funniest out takes! Thank you for the endless belly laughs around that Wildwind dining table at #AMC ! You will be remembered with so much Love!😢♥️ All my prayers and sympathy to his family🙏🏼♥️ Rest peacefully sweet man♥️”

Photo: Sue Coflin/MaxPhotos

Cady McClain (Ex-Dixie, All My Children): “Michael was always a joy to work with, and one of the funniest human beings I ever met. I feel so blessed to have crossed his path and been able to watch him work his magic. I know he felt the love and appreciation of his colleagues and I’m grateful our discussions were always deep or kind. #RIP #michaelnader Photo by @stevenbergman29 💕 (note his book and bookmark! Only Michael would carry it on the res carpet. 😂)”

Maxwell Caufield (Ex-Miles, Dynasty): “That #MichaelNader in the arena many seasons with both @Joancollinsdbe and #SusanLucci – quel hombre.”

Dondre T. Whitfield (Ex-Terrence, All My Children), who commented on Eva LaRue’s post: “Wow. Haven’t seen him in years. So sad to see the Brother. He was very mice to me during my “Pine Valley” time. RIP Nader.”

Vincent Irizarry (Ex-David, All My Children), who commented on Eva LaRue’s post: “OMG, my heart is breaking!!! Loved dear Michael, working opposite him in both “Pine Valley” and in Jackie Collins’ ‘Lucky Chances’. So so sad to hear of his passing. Yes @evalarue, the sweetest man, and ABSOLUTELY the funniest outtakes…”

Sean Kanan: (Ex-AJ, GH, Deacon, B&B) “I was so sorry to hear that Michael Nader passed away. He and I played father and son in Perry Mason: The Case of the Maligned Mobster. We spent some time together and he was a very authentic person. My sincerest condolences to his family. RIP Michael.”

Share your thoughts and remembrances of these wonderful co-stars with Michael throughout his years on Dynasty and All My Children via the comment section below.

 

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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