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Guiding Light R.I.P.

"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.

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[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 R.I.P.

‘Beacon Hill’ Prepping Its Long-Awaited Season Two Featuring Soap Notables

A few years back, Beacon Hill was one of the most talked about web series for its soapy cast and bringing same-sex romance, political scandal and familial drama to the table.  And now, it appears after a four year wait\ the creators and the cast are ready to go back into production for its second season.

In order to do that, the producers are driving a crowdfunding campaign via IndieGoGo to raise funds to make their planned production a reality.

Guiding Light and Venice favorite, Crystal Chappell is once again returning in role of “Claire”, along with these daytime fan favorites: Alicia Minshew, Melissa Archer, Ron Raines, John-Paul Lavoisier, Ricky Paull Goldin, Scott Bryce, Tina Sloan, Louise Sorel and the new additions to the cast: Nadia Bjorlin, Jacob Young, Hillary B. Smith, and Marem Hassler who takes over the key role of “Katherine” from Sarah Brown.

The series promises longer episodes than season one, and it will finally deliver to fans the reveal of that cliffhanger: “Who is at the damn door?”

As of Sunday night, there are 43 days left to donate to the fund to help make Beacon Hill second two come to life so they can shoot the series in New England.

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Check out this video below from Chappell and company that was released over the weekend.

So, would you like to see season 2 of Beacon Hill? Comment below.

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Guiding Light R.I.P.

Guiding Light & ATWT Alum, Tom Pelphrey Is New Series Regular In Upcoming Season of Netflix’s ‘Ozark’

Well, soap fans knew when they saw the character of Jonathan Randall debut in Springfield on Guiding Light that the young man who portrayed him was going to go far in his career, and that has been what’s been happening since he left daytime for Tom Pelphrey.

Pelphrey, who won two Daytime Emmys for his role on GL and later did a run as Mick on As the World Turns, has gone on to star as Ward Meachum on both seasons of Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix, appeared on Cinemax’s Banshee and more recently did a guest spot on NBC;’s drama Blindspot to name just a few of his projects.

Now comes word via Deadline that Pelphrey is joining the third season of Netflix’s drama Ozark as a series regular.  The series stars Laura Linney and Jason Bateman and details the life of a family as the navigate within a dangerous drug cartel.

Pelphrey has been cast Linney’s younger brother named Ben Davis, and in story, he arrives for an unannounced and inopportune visit. He quickly reminds Wendy (Linney) who she used to be and who she is running from.

Upon the announcement of his casting, Tom took to his Twitter account and said, “Dream job!”

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So, will you be checking out Ozark to see Tom in his new role?  Did you love him as Jonathan (Reva’s son) on Guiding Light? Comment below.  But first watch Tom’s winning moments and acceptance speeches at the 2006 and 2008 Daytime  Emmys.

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Breaking News

Cynthia Watros Replaces Michelle Stafford As GH’s Nina Reeves

Another big name is headed to the cast of General Hospital on the heels of the upcoming departure of Michelle Stafford.  Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros had been cast as the the new Nina Reeves.  Fans of Guiding Light remember her star turn as Annie Dutton, and she was last see on on daytime in the role of Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless (2013-2014).

As previously reported, Daytime Emmy winner, Michelle Stafford is headed back to her old stomping grounds of The Young and the Restless to play her signature soap role of Phyllis Summer.  She will replace her own recast, Daytime Emmy winner, Gina Tognoni.  Both actresses are said to be finishing taping their current runs on their respective shows in May. Watros will begin her GH run in Port Charles in June,

GH’s EP Frank Valentini tweeted on today’s casting news: “It’s a bittersweet day. I love @TheRealStafford and wish her all the best. I’m also really excited about @watroswatros joining the #GH family and continuing Nina’s legacy.”

PEOPLE.com broke the casting change.  Stafford has been with GH since 2014.  As for Watros, she opted to leave her role on Y&R to join the cast of MTV’s Finding Carter.  She is also known for her run on the hit ABC drama, Lost and other notable primetime series and films.

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Michelle Stafford’s on-screen GH love interest, James Patrick Stuart, tweeted on the news: “Cynthia Watros … Big fan.”

So, what do you think of the casting of Cynthia Watros as the new Nina Reeves? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Video du Jour

GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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