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"GL's" former EP, Ellen Wheeler on cancellation, production model and Otalia!

Ellen-wheeler.jpg“GL’s” now former executive producer Ellen Wheeler chatted with TV Guide Magazine’s Michael Logan in a new interview out today.  Wheeler gives insight into her thoughts on how “GL” ended, what befell the longest running show, Otalia’s storyline, and this banter below between the interviewee and the reporter! In the conversation, Logan talks to Wheeler about the new production model. Wheeler says it was done for budgetary constraints but Logan is quick to point out that this former EP, said something different in 2008 on the matter.   Here is the excerpt below!

The new production model obviously didn’t save GL but do you think other soaps will in any way benefit from what happened here?
I think we achieved a level of nuance and naturalism that is to be admired. But I want to stop you: That’s a little bit of a misnomer there, because [the production model] did save GL for a year and a half.

I’ve seen you quoted elsewhere saying that same thing, and I don’t get it. When this new production model was launched I clearly remember it being promoted as a way to move GL into the future, using information culled from research groups about what today’s viewers want to see on their soaps. It was not stated that the show would be cancelled if you didn’t go with this production model.
I can tell you absolutely that it kept the show on the air. We could not have stayed in the [previous] model with the budget cuts that came down, so something had to change. And the change was going to have to be drastic and enormous. I’m not saying it had to be this exact model, but this was the one we came up with and we had to come up with it pretty quickly. But without taking those budget cuts we were going to be cancelled.

[Logan note: Okay, I’m not that nuts! I went back and looked at my interview with Wheeler in the February 25, 2008 issue of TV Guide Magazine, in which she told me that the switch to the new production model followed a two-year viewer research project conducted by Procter & Gamble. Here’s what she said: “Our audience has been very clear to us. They don’t like the nonreality of soaps—the fake grass, the fact that people in Springfield never seem to go to work or actually do their jobs or take care of their children. They want the stories and characters they love but with the same sense of reality they get from Grey’s Anatomy and other nighttime shows.” Wheeler then ended the interview with: “This is not a desperate survival move. This is a creative, financially efficient way to move soap operas into the future. GL has always led the way.”]

Guiding Light

Beverlee McKinsey Tribute On Tap Featuring Guiding Light Notables

There was no one quite like her and to this day she is revered as one of the greatest actresses every to grace the soap genre, and now on an upcoming installment of The Locher Room, McKinsey will be honored with a tribute, not only by her son, daytime director, Scott McKinsey but several of her former Guiding Light co-stats as well.

Joining host, Alan Locher will be Guiding Light’s Grant Aleksander (Ex-Phillip Spaulding), Mark Derwin (Ex-A.C. Mallet), Jay Hammer (Ex-Fletcher Reade) and Vincent Irizarry (Ex-Brandon Lujack Luvonaczek).

McKinsey passed away in 2008 and her daytime resume was quite extensive and memorable from  Iris on Another World and on its spinoff, Texas and from 1984-1992 as Alexandra Spaulding on the CBS daytime drama, Guiding Light.   Beverlee was nominated four times for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress.

To watch this special tribute, make sure to save the date of Monday, November 16th at 3 p.m. EST/Noon PST.   You can watch the livestream here.

So, what role of McKinsey’s was your all-time favorite? Comment below.

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Breaking News

‘Filthy Rich’ Canceled by Fox After One Season

The soapy Filthy Rich has been short-lived.  News tonight has that the series featuring Sex and the City favorite, Kim Cattrall and former Guiding Light star, Aubrey Dollar (Ex-Marina) has been canceled by Fox in its first season.

According to Deadline, low ratings and uncertainty are behind the decision when the series was originally intended for a summer run.

Filthy Rich has aired 5 of its t0 episodes, and the network will air the remaining 5.

Created by Tate Taylor, Filthy Rich stars Cattrall as Margaret Monreaux, the matriarch of a mega-rich Southern family famous for creating a wildly successful Christian television network. After her husband dies in a plane crash, Margaret and family are stunned to learn that he fathered three illegitimate children, all of whom are written into his will — threatening their family name and fortune. Melia Kreiling, the aforementioned Aubrey Dollar, Corey Cott, Benjamin Levy Aguilar, Mark L. Young and Olivia Macklin co-star along with Steve Harris and Aaron Lazar.

So, what do you think about the cancellation of Filthy Rich? Did you happen to check it outt hus far during its run ? Comment below.

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Guiding Light

Tom Pelphrey Set As Series Regular For Amazon’s Mystery Drama ‘Outer Range’

Another great feather in the cap for one of the finest actors we know, former Guiding Light and As the World Turns alum, and two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Tom Pelphrey.

Fresh of his star-turn in Netflix;s Ozark as Laura Linney’s on-screen brother Ben, Pelphrey has nabbed a key role in the upcoming Amazon series, Outer Range.

The show also stars Lilli Taylor and Tamara Podemski and Josh Brolin.  Outer Range is from playwright Brian Watkins, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and Amazon Studios.

According to Deadline: The story centers on Royal Abbott (Brolin), a rancher fighting for his land and family, who discovers an unfathomable mystery at the edge of Wyoming’s wilderness.  Taylor will portray Cecilia Abbott, the matriarch of the Abbott family. Cecilia is a woman of deep faith, which she finds tested as never before. Podemski will play Deputy Sheriff Joy. A life-long cop, Joy is running for county sheriff, and is the first gay Native American to ever do so in Wyoming. Pelphrey is Perry Abbott, the dutiful, eldest Abbott son, who is torn up inside by the lingering mystery of his missing wife.”

Coming up this Oscar season look for Tom in David Fincher’s Mank, where he plays Joseph Mankiewicz .

So will you be checking out Tom in Outer Range? Comment below.

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