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Hallmark Channel Chief Bill Abbott Exits In Aftermath Of Same-Sex Ad Controversy

Photo: Hallmark

Looks like there is still fallout from the Hallmark Channel pulling several ads from wedding planner, Zola that centered on a same-sex lesbian couple kissing at their wedding.

Now, Bill Abbott, who has been Crown Media Family Networks president and CEO for the last 11 years, is exiting the company.  The announcement was made today by Mike Perry, president and CEO of Hallmark Cards Inc.

No successor has been named. “I have tremendous confidence in the Crown Media management team and, with this team in place, I will begin a search for Bill’s replacement,” Perry said. “I want to thank Bill for his many years of success and contributions to Crown Media and wish him continued success.”

Prior to the firestorm against the cable outlet for pulling the Zola ads, (after conservative group One Million Moms petitioned to have the ads removed) and the network complied, the company was doing well.

Abbott presided over a period of growth and visibility for Hallmark including: Christmas programming and regular opportunities for seasoned A-list stars that in return attracted viewers and ratings. Bill Abbott’s exit is the latest result of Hallmark’s efforts to quickly turn the page on the bad PR.

Deadline reported that according to people familiar with the internal discussions, many people at the network expressed their preference for restoring the ad quickly, while Abbott went against their wishes and kept it off the air.

So, what do you think of Abbott stepping-down and Hallmark parting ways with him? Do you enjoy Hallmark Channel programming or find its fare and formula not diverse and inclusive enough? Comment below.

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Once Hallmark starts showing LBGTQ crap – I’m gone. I always thought Hallmark followed more closely with my Christian values, but if they follow the way of the rest of TV, I will no longer watch it. I liked a lot of their shows, but I won’t have this garbage in my house where my young grand children might see it.

Seriously? Soaps are moral and kissing is not? SMH.

A lot of folks who describe themselves as “Christians” are supporters of a serial adulterer who has about 1500 documented lies coming from his mouth since he’s been squatting in the White House.

Now admittedly, I haven’t spoken to my Former Employer in a long time, but I suspect he might find that a little more offensive than two people kissing in a commercial that airs on a channel full of bland, sappy programming.

Barb…So I guess that means you don’t watch The Young and Restless and General Hospital.

This is the biggest lie Lordy do you people never stop take your crap and literally shove it! The ad never showed them kissing !!! It was humorous actually quite funny why does the left insist on making a drama out of nothing!!!

In other words why don’t you leave these people alone if this is their beliefs leave them alone let it go

“get off the cross”

red green yellow.. all means the same thing to every body. common sense… mind your own p’s and q’s.. for those who “choose” to mix with

rally ! every one.. I’ve been to the rodeo

aint no charge lesser than mine… I pay the bills … mortgage, utilities, food on the table

I stand equal

his step down is freeing

on another note : from what I can gather… Mark Steines, “settles” lawsuit with ? hip hip hooray. He … stood with his female co-workers. Hallmark thought he would take the bullet

not so fast… I hope Hallmark also, pays for their decision to FIRE Mark Steines

CLEAN UP THE MESS your stench is indelible

We’ll never know the real politics behind closed doors for Abbott’s departure. I just know I enjoy the Hallmark Channel. I may not have watched everyday, back-to-back, like over Christmas, but it was a welcome relief from our daily news, Million Moms, and politics. It may be formula…so are our soaps…and I find it is almost as diverse as our soaps. With pleasant stories, some actors I recognized from the soaps, and stories that always end right. Even our soaps don’t let stories that initially end right stay that way for long.

Everyone calls out for their Rights, not every one has the desires/stomach to see LBGTQ kissing.. Doesn’t make straight people wrong or selfish. We have our rights to keep our belief. It’s called desires!

how sad to leave the house and not see any thing more than what you want

I left when they reinstated the gay commercial. I will not support a gay channel or company. Will not go into a store or buy a card from them again unless they go back to real family values.

Heather…So I guess that means no ABC/ General Hospital, or CBS/Young &Restless.

Real family values?

You mean like an orange man who orders his immigrant brides via mail order and then cheats on them with porn stars when they’re pregnant?

Hell, I have better values than that, and I’m the Devil!

this is exciting… leave, enough room for color… a shared moment…a start

Yes, if you don’t like Hallmarks programs then change the channel. Majority of Americans approve of the network’s movie.

As to you the small majority of Americans who want to push their lifestyle on others. Simply said, get your own network and problem is solved

I think that if Hallmark continues to show these types of commercials and add gays to their programs they will eventually not have a hallmark channel. I cannot understand why we do not have rights as conservative Christians in America. Losing Bill Abbot will forever change hallmark.

Breaking News

Michele Val Jean Gives Update on Daytime’s Newest Soap: “The Team for ‘The Gates’ is Coming Together and It’s Fire”

CBS daytime’s newest soap opera, The Gates, is set to bow in January of 2025.  Until now, not much has been known of who else behind the scenes or in front of the camera might be coming on to the show.

However, The Gates writer, and co-executive producer, Michele Val Jean, shared an update on the series ,which has as its premise and epicenter, the story of a wealthy black family living in a gated community.

Now, Val Jean has taken to her Instagram account to share an update on the show.  Michele expressed, “You guys! The team for #TheGates is coming together and it’s 🔥🔥🔥. I couldn’t be happier. Exciting announcements coming soon. Stay tuned!”

Previously, Michele attended last weekend’s 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Award ceremony where she also shared on her IG, these sentiments: “Had a great time at the #daytimeemmys tonight. I so love this community of such colossally talented and genuinely nice people. I’m humbled to be adding to the legacy with ‘The Gates’. Shout out to my #boldandbeautiful peeps. You guys are the best.”

Val Jean has been a writer for The Bold & The Beautiful, Generations, Santa Barbara, General Hospital, and Port Charles throughout her daytime career, and she has won Daytime Emmys for her work on B&B and GH.

Now the question becomes, who would you like to see cast on ‘The Gates’? What kind of roles might be available? Who could be helping steer other creative elements behind the scenes? Stay tuned. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

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General Hospital

GH’s Mark Teschner Tells Casting Stories of Johnny Wactor, Giovanni Mazza, Rebecca Herbst & Nicholas Chavez

This week during a very informative and insightful conversation, General Hospital’s 11-time Emmy-winning casting director and now a Daytime Emmy Silver Circle honoree, Mark Teschner spoke on finding the talent for specific roles on the ABC daytime drama series throughout his near three and half decades with the show.

During a livestream chat on the Michael Fairman Channel, Teschner recalled some of the behind the scenes casting stories that brought many beloved favorites to the GH family including the late Johnny Wactor (ex-Brando), the newly-arrived, Giovanni Mazza (Gio), longtime fan favorite, Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), and rising star, Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer) to name but a few.

When speaking with sadness over the loss of Wactor, who was shot and killed back on May 25th, and what he brought to the character of Brando, Teschner recalled, “With Johnny, what you see is what you get. You see the most kind decent, standup guy, and that’s innately who he is. So, that quality comes through in his work and with the character.”

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

Mark explained, “Brando was a raw kind of hothead, troubled kind of character, and Johnny was able to go there. He had a real intensity that he was able to bring to the role, but at the same time, the character of Brando had to have this depth and this giant heart that he doesn’t necessarily reveal when you first see him. Well, Johnny had the biggest heart of anyone you’ll ever meet. So that essence was already there, and then his acting and his skill played the character. Johnny brought so much of who he was to the character, and there was something so authentic about him.”

Photo: ABC

Giovanni Mazza recently debuted on GH as “Gio”, so what was his road to landing in Port Charles? Teschner shared, “I was casting a recurring role for a 15-year-old on the show, but when I’m doing the audition, sometimes I’ll open it up because we try to cast true to age, really within a year or so.  If you think about it, all the kids in our show are the exact age of the characters that they’re playing. Because if you have somebody that’s older playing younger, it sticks out because they’re not going to blend age-wise. But I did read a number of actors that were older just because they looked interesting. Gio’s audition came in. I was viewing this through self tapes, and there was just something about him. It wasn’t just that he was a great-looking kid, it was just there’s something very soulful about him and something very compelling, and he draws you in. ”

Photo: ABC

Mark continued, “So with the group of the 15-year-olds that I sent to Frank Valeintini (EP, GH), I said, ‘Hey, I’m including this kid, Giovanni Mazza. I’m well aware he’s too old, but I just want you to see him.’

After having him come into audition, two weeks later, Frank called Mark and told him they were putting Gio under contract. Teschner added, “So, that was an example where it was his first week in LA, it was his first and ever audition. So we got  before anybody else.  I think he’s really gonna develop into, you know, quite a young actor.”

Becky Herbst has been beloved as Elizabeth for decades, and Teschner recounted her audition process and how she came to the role of Elizabeth. “She (originally) auditioned for the role of Sarah Webber. But the role of Elizabeth was created for Becky. While the character of Sarah did not last long, here we are with Becky 30 years later.”

Teschner cited Becky’s casting as a great example. “I always tell actors when they come into audition, you lay it out, you put it all out there, you bring everything you have to that role. You may not get the role, but if you do good work, you get remembered. And it’s so true.”

Photo: ABC

Nicholas Chavez popped in the role of Spencer Cassadine before exiting the series. Teschner tells how Chavez came onto the GH casting radar. “Nicholas sent his self tape in from Florida and the rest is history. He had a meteoric impact on the show.” Mark added, “You always have an expectation and the hope that they’re (the actor) going to nail it and run with it. But sure, there are actors, you think, ‘They’re gonna be awesome,’ and then all of a sudden it goes to another level. With Nicholas Chavez, we knew he’d be amazing, but you know, who knew? Well, we did.”

Watch the full conversation with Mark Teschner below where he talks about even more of the casting stories behind some of your GH favorites, then and now.

What you think of the Teschner’s eye for talent casting the characters of General Hospital? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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News

Y&R’s Melissa Claire Egan Previews “Amazing, Juicy, Fun” Summer Storyline

The Young and the Restless, Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy seven-times throughout her career for her work on both All My Children and the CBS soap opera. Now viewers are wondering what’s next for the talented Egan in story?

Many are sensing that perhaps Chelsea might get back together with Adam (Mark Grossman) over their connection to their son, Connor and more, while others are rooting for Sally (Courtney Hope) and Adam, who have currently found their way back to one another.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Egan on the red carpet at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards where she teased some major story to come. When asked if she felt Adam and Chelsea might get back together, Egan couldn’t give a direct answer, but she did tease a major story to put on Y&R viewers radar.

Photo: JPI

Egan revealed, “There’s an amazing, juicy, fun storyline happening this summer. Stay tuned, everybody. Chelsea’s involved in something and it has been so much fun to play. I am like, thinking about my words before I speak because I don’t wanna ruin it. It’s so fun and juicy and you guys (the audience) are gonna love it, or,  even if you don’t love it, you’re gonna feel passionate about it.”

Photo: MEganIG

Now a mom of two, Melissa spends her time at the studio taping all-new episodes of Y&R and juggling the daily lives of two young children, Jake and Caden. “I have a baby and a toddler, a 10-month old and a two and a half-year old,” she shares. “They’re exhausting, but they’re so amazing and they’re such sweet. They’re a dream come true. Jake has had me up at 4:30 in the morning a lot lately, and then I have to go to work by 6:30am. You know, it’s just a juggling act. But you just do it. You look at these little faces and you’re just obsessed and it’s all good. It’s all blessings.”

Check out our chat with Missy below.

Now let us know, do you want Chelsea with Adam? What storyline do you think is coming this summer involving her character? Weigh-in via the comment section below.

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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