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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

TONIGHT: All My Children’s Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams Together Again on All-New Episode of ‘Our Kind of People’

The Fox drama, Our Kind of People (9 pm ET/8pm CT), will feature a reunion, of sorts, on tonight’s January 18th episode when Debbi Morgan (Ex-Angie, All My Children) once again shares screen-time with her former on-screen soap opera love, Darnell Williams (Ex-Jesse, All My Children).

While mum’s the word as to Williams role, we know that Debbi plays Angela’s Aunt Piggy on the series, and in last week’s installment, Piggy went to the police station to turn herself in for the murder of her ex-boyfriend years ago.  However, Darnell’s character could hold the key as to what really went down in the murder.

Photo: JPI

Debbi spoke to TV Line about acting again with Darnell: “We were shooting the scene when Darnell’s character walks through the door for the first time.  And it was the first time we see this character on the show, and I looked at him and shouted, ‘Jesse!’ The director had to yell cut and everyone fell out laughing. It was hilarious. I knew that wasn’t his name on Our Kind of People but I couldn’t help myself. We worked together for so many years as Angie and Jesse and that’s the first thing that came to my mind.”

Photo: FOX

For those who have not checked out Our Kind of People, it takes place in the aspirational world of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, a historical stronghold where the rich and powerful Black elite have come to play for over 50 years.

In story, strong-willed single mom Angela Vaughn (Ex-AMC star, Yaya Decosta) sets out to reclaim her family’s name and make an impact with her revolutionary hair care line that highlights the innate, natural beauty of Black women, but she soon discovers a dark secret about her own mother’s past that will turn her world upside-down and shake up this community forever. The show is a soapy, thrilling exploration of race and class in America and an unapologetic celebration of Black resilience and achievement.

The series is from writer and executive producer Karin Gist (Star, Grey’s Anatomy) and executive producer Lee Daniels (Empire, The United States Vs. Billie Holiday).

So, will you be watching Debbi and Darnell together on tonight’s Our Kind of People? Comment below.

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All My Children

Three-Time Daytime Emmy Winner, Cady McClain, Reveals She’s ‘Back On Set’ But On Which Show?

After her Instagram post earlier this week, fans of Cady McClain have been attempting to dissect her cryptic tease of a message. McClain, a three-time Daytime Emmy winner, shared the good news with fans that she is ‘back to work’, except she didn’t share which show or project she is working on … just yet!

In her post, McClain teased: “Back on set! Fun to be working again on such a terrific show! Can’t wait to be able to share the news with you all soon! Meantime, hoping you are all taking good care of yourselves. Sending hugs!! ”

Now, it could be Cady is working on a primetime show, not a daytime show, but we shall see.

She has previously appeared on The Young and the Restless and Days of our Lives of the four remaining daytime soaps.  On Y&R she played Kelly Andrews, and on DAYS, Jennifer Horton Deveraux.  And, as viewers of the NBC soap saw this week, Jennifer (in a short appearance by Melissa Reeves) returned to Salem with Jack (Matthew Ashford), only to tie-up loose ends over the holidays and exit the show.

Since DAYS still tapes months ahead, could McClain be returning there, or might she pop up on GH and B&B? The character of Kelly was killed-off of Y&R back in 2015.

Previously, Cady became soap-famous for her roles as Dixie Cooney Martin on All My Children and Rosanna Cabot on As the World Turns.

Share your thoughts on which show you hope Cady is working on, whether, primetime, daytime, or a streaming series, in the comment section below.

 

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A post shared by Cady McClain (@cadymcclain)

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All My Children

‘Selling Sunset’ and Soap Alum, Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim Split

Chrishell Stause, best known to soap fans for her work on All My Children, Days of our Lives, and The Young and the Restless, and currently seen in Netflix reality series, Selling Sunset, is the romance break-up news this week.

Now comes word via PEOPLE, that Stause and Jason Oppenheim (Los Angeles real estate firm owner of the Oppenheim Group) have called it quits after five months of dating.

Oppenheim took to his Instagram Story and shared on the break-up: “While Chrishell and I are no longer together, we remain best friends and we will always love and support one another/. She was the most amazing girlfriend I’ve ever had, and it was the happiest and most fulfilling relationship of my life. While we have different wants regarding a family, we continue to have the utmost respect for one another. Chrishell is an exceptional human being and loving her and having her in my life is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.”

Just two days ago, Chrishell shared an Instagram video with Oppenheim from the Selling Sunset makeup trailer just as the cast wrapped filming its fifth season.

Previously, Stause was married to This Is Us star Justin Hartley, while Oppenheim used to date another Selling Sunset star and Oppenheim Group employee. Mary Fitzgerald.

So, what do you think of the break-up of Chrishell and Jason? Comment below.

 

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A post shared by Chrishell (@chrishell.stause)

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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