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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.

[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.

Former Y&R, Santa Barbara, Capitol, and Guiding Light Executive Producer John Conboy Dead

Photo: JConboyFacebookPage

Reports surfaced on Friday that legendary soap opera executive producer, John Conboy had passed away.

Judith Chapman (Gloria, Y&R) posted the news of Conboy’s death on her facebook page along with these sentiments: “It is with a heavy heart and a grateful smile that I called him my friend,, “BIG” JOHN CONBOY, the ORIGINAL Producer on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, left us today The Big Guy, with the BIG LAUGH, Man about Town, and One HELLUVA PRODUCER… Whether you loved him, or not ..YOU have to agree He was ONE OF A KIND! God Bless you, John. Give Jeanne a Hug from all of us.”

CBS Daytime also tweeted: “We join Judith and the CBS Daytime community in mourning the loss of John Conboy. John was a longtime Executive Producer on #YR, created Capitol and later was EP of Guiding Light. He will remain in our hearts forever.”

Conboy was the original executive producer of The Young and the Restless and remained with the show from its inception in 1973 through to 1982.  Prior to that, he served as the EP on CBS’ Love is a Many Splendored Thing from 1970-1973.  After Y&R, John next launched CBS’ new soap Capitol and stayed as the EP up through its cancellation in 1987.

John made a comeback in 1991 with the one and only Santa Barbara, where he served as the top executive of the series for a time, with the last soap he helmed being Guiding Light from 2002-2004.

Throughout his daytime career, Conboy picked up four Daytime Emmys – three for the soaps, and one for an afternoon special. (more…)

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As The World Turns

Crystal Hunt, Donna Mills, Antonio Sabato Jr & Michael Swan Star In New Faith-Based Soap Opera, HILTON HEAD ISLAND!

Some longtime soap opera notables are featured in a new 22 episode faith-based soap entitle, Hilton Head Island.

The series debuts this Friday, November 10th with the first eight installments, and is from the Christian entertainment company, PureFlix.com.

The soap opera is available by subscription, but the service offers a one-month free trial.  In story, Hilton Head Island, revolves around the lives of the fictional Trisk family, who own the a television network.

Hilton Head Island features: Antonio Sabato Jr. (ex-Jagger, General Hospital), Donna Mills (ex-Abby, Knots Landing), Michael Swan (ex-Duncan, As the World Turns), and Crystal Hunt (ex-Lizzie, GL). PureFlix.com specializes in “family-oriented” content and shows. The plan is for Hilton Head Island to be rolled out in two subsequent seven-episode blocks in the coming weeks.

Watch the first official trailer for the soap after the jump.  Then let us know your thoughts in the comment section below! (more…)

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Guiding Light R.I.P.

OLTL Alum Tuc Watkins Joins GL Alum Matt Bomer And An All-Star Cast In Broadway Revival Of Boys In The Band!

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking play, Boys in the Band, a limited engagement of the theatrical production is scheduled next year from April 30–August 12, 2018 a the Booth Theatre on Broadway.

The cast will feature none other than former One Life to Live star, Tuc Watkins (Ex-David) and former Guiding Light star, Matt Bomer (Ex-Ben) along with Andrew Rannells, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, and more.  The play will be directed this time out by two-time Tony winner, Joe Mantello.

The Boys in the Band centers around a group of gay men who gather in a New York City apartment for a friend’s birthday party. As the evening continues, the cracks beneath their friendships begin to show, exposing the self-inflicted heartache that threatens their solidarity. (more…)

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This week on Y&R, Nick reveals himself to Victor as the one who has been masquerading at J.T.! Meanwhile, Lily and Hilary are involved in a terrible car crash, and Mariah and Tessa reconnect. What did you think of Nick’s revenge plot on Victor? Watch the latest promo from CBS below, then let us know. Leave A Comment

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