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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

Tom Pelphrey and Kaley Cuoco Expecting First Child Together

Congratulations are in order for one of the finest actors we know, Tom Pelphrey (ex-Jonathan, Guiding Light) and his girlfriend former ‘Big Bang Theory’ star, Kaley Cuoco!

The couple each shared a series of photos on their Instagram accounts, announcing that they are expecting their first child, a baby girl!

Cuoco shared: “Baby girl Pelphrey coming 2023💕 beyond blessed and over the moon… I 💓you”

Pelphrey expressed: “And then it was even MORE BETTER. 🎀🎀🎀. Love you more than ever @kaleycuoco ♥️🙏♥️”

The couple had confirmed their relationship this past May and recently attended the 2022 Primetime Emmy Awards in September where they both were nominees; Cuoco for The Flight Attendant and Pelphrey for Ozark.

Tom and Kaley actually met back in April, and it has been noted in the press as ‘love at first sight’ when Cuoco attended the premiere of Ozark.

Share your well-wishes for Tom, Kaley, and the bundle of joy on the way, via the comment section.

 

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Guiding Light

Jerry verDorn Tribute on Tap During Virtual 18th Annual ‘Stars and Strikes’ Charity Event

Daytime lost one of its most beloved veteran actors in Jerry verDorn (ex-Ross, GL, ex-Clint, OLTL). The two-time Daytime Emmy-winning star passed away earlier this year on May 1st from his battle with cancer.

In celebration and remembrance of his life and career, the 18th annual Daytime Stars and Strikes fundraiser which has always been a staple event helmed by verDorn and his former GL co-star Liz Keifer, is having a livestream special on You Tube’s The Locher Room on Sunday, October 9th starting at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST.

Participating will be former colleagues and cast members of Jerry’s from both Guiding Light and One Life to Live including: Kristen Alderson,Terrell Anthony, Grant Aleksander, Bryan Buffinton, Jean Carol, Beth Chamberlin, Crystal Chappell, Justin Deas, Mark Derwin, Frank Dicopoulos, Ricky Paull Goldin, Melissa Hayden, Rick Hearst, Crystal Hunt, Vincent Irizarry, Liz Keifer, Maeve Kinkead, Wendy Moniz, Robert Newman, Michael O’Leary, Denise Pence, Ron Raines, Sean Ringgold, Peter Simon, Erika Slezak, Tina Sloan, Krista Tesreau, Gina Tognoni, Bree Williamson, Laura Wright and Kim Zimmer.

75% of the proceeds from the event will go to The Autism Society of America and the remaining 25% of proceeds will go to the newly established Jerry verDorn Scholarship Fund which will help send individuals with Autism to theater camps and other educational programs.

To watch the livestream on Oct 9 click here.

So, glad to hear that Jerry’s friends and former cast members will be gathering on a livestream to share their special remembrances of him while raising awareness and funds for a good cause? Comment below.

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PRIMETIME EMMYS: Soap Alums Murray Bartlett and Amanda Seyfried Take Home Acting Honors

The 74th annual Primetime Emmys were handed out Monday night during a three-hour telecast on NBC and streaming on Peacock.

When the dust settled two former daytime stars, who have gone found much success in television and film, took home the gold in their respective categories.

Murray Bartlett (ex-Cyrus, Guiding Light) won the Emmy for his role as Armond in The White Lotus in the Best Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.

In his acceptance speech, Murray expressed many thanks: “To my P-Town family, I love you, to my partner Matt, thank you for being my sanctuary .. and finally I want to thank my mom all the way home in Australia for giving me the most wonderful foundation of unconditional love and inspiring me to believe that we can all do that for each other.”

Later in the evening, Amanda Seyfried (ex-Lucy, ATWT and ex-Joni , AMC) won the Best Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her performance in The Dropout.  In the Hulu limited series, which is based on the ABC News podcast of the same name, Seyfried portrays disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.

Photo: NBC

In a major moment during the ceremony, Sheryl Lee Ralph won her first Emmy ever for her role in Abbott Elementary in the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category.

Ralph became only the second black actress to win in the supporting actress category in 35 years – the first being none other than Days of our Lives’ Jackée Harry (Paulina) who won for her performance in 1987 for 227.

After Sheryl sang when she hit the stage to accept the award, she clarified what she was singing about adding: “I’ve been singing that song for years because I think of myself as an artist as a woman, especially as a woman of color … I’m an endangered species. I don’t sing any victim song. I’m a woman. I’m an artist, and I know where my voice belongs. And there’s so many young actors, artists, even kids that think they know what they’re going to do in life, find your voice and put it where it belongs.”

In an historic Emmy-win, The Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae became the first actor in a non-English series to win iLead Actor in a Drama Series category for his work in Netflix’s South Korean smash hit.

Photo: NBC

Other Emmy highlights included a moving and emotional speech from Lizzo after Amazon’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls won the Emmy for Best Competition Program.

Photo: NBC

Lizzo shared: “I’m very emotional. The trophy is nice, but my emotion is for these people who are on the stage with me. The stories that they shared, they’re not that unique. They just don’t get the platform. Telling stories, let’s just tell more stories. When I was a little girl, all I wanted to see was me in the media, someone fat like me, Black like me, beautiful like me.  If I could go back and tell little Lizzo something, I’d be like, ‘You’re going to see that person, but Bitch, it’s gonna have to be you.’”

In the top show categories: Succession won Drama Series, Ted Lasso, Comedy Series and The White Lotus, Outstanding Limited Series. You can check out the full winners circle in all categories here.

Now, let us know, who you were most excited seeing take home the gold statuette during the 74th Primetime Emmys via the comment section. But first check out, Murray, Amanda, Sheryl Lee and Lizzo’s winning moments below.

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