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Hollywood Reporter On Surprise Daytime Soap Ratings Resurgence! Could More Soaps Be On The Horizon?

Courtesy/THR

Courtesy/THR

Now here is an exciting piece from a mainstream outlet who has their pulse on what is happening in the current state of the daytime soaps, and that forecasts and suggests some very good news may be on the horizon! Could this mean the revenge of the soaps?

The Hollywood Reporter took a look at how a year after ABC’s much maligned and mistaken decision to cancel both One Live to Live and All My Children, that the remaining four daytime dramas are seeing an uptick in the ratings and more!

Bill Carroll, VP and Director of Programming at Katz Television Group weighed on the subject saying, “What’s happened is the core audience realized these treasures might go away. They decided they’d better watch, or the shows are not going to be there.”

Frank Valentini, executive producer of General Hospital (and formerly of One Life to Live) commented on consolidating the soap viewing audience, which was a goal of recent casting moves.  Valentini stated, “We brought three actors from One Life to Live to General Hospital, so I’m sure we brought some fans over.”    In addition, Valentini cited other recent improvements to GH  such as: storylines don’t drag out as long, portrayals of women that are more contemporary, and that there are fewer flashbacks and more intrigue, romance and humor.

In an “I told you so” moment for soap fans, THR mentions the following stats:  “ABC’s All My Children replacement The Chew is averaging 2.4 million total viewers. That’s competitive with GH, but in the key demo of women 25-to-54 (which is what advertisers care about most), Chew generates only a 0.9 rating, about one-third less than GH delivers. Katie also is failing to attract as many women 25-to-54 as GH. (ABC’s other soap replacement, the lifestyle self-help show The Revolution, already has been canceled.)

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In the end, it was exec Bill Carroll who made the most profound statement when posed the question that given the soaps resurgence, could this mean new dramas soon will be coming to daytime?  Says Carroll, “At some point in the future, the trend will once again be soap operas.”

So soapers, what do you think about the statements made in the piece?  Valentini’s and Carroll’s comments? Are you enthusiastic about daytime soaps’ future? Or pessimistic?  Let us know!

 

 

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Torrey
Torrey

Yeah, but are the networks coming to the same realization? It does the soap fans no good, if the major networks dont see the error of their ways, and fix the mistakes that they have made…..And I’m sorry, I don’t want a new soap, I want my OLTL back!!!

brian
brian

Yes… OLTL is still missed very much, and I too would like it back…. but until then, GH is make me very happy with all the recent improvements.

jp
jp

Yes, I agree. Bring back OLTL. Look at the reboot of Dallas on TNT. It is a huge success.

ONE LIFE TO LIVE NEEDS TO BE BACK…LIKE YESTERDAY.

Tali Smith
Tali Smith

I too want OLTL BACK!!! GH may have added 3 actor/actresses from there but they destroyed the best couple-John McBain & Natalie Banks (IMO) and will not watch GH as long as they are doing this. The story involving John McBain is unbelievable, knowing the story line from OLTL and I just can’t stand to watch it. Glad to hear the soaps are doing well tho’! PLEASE just fix the JOLIE story, FV/RC!

Torrey
Torrey

Totally agree with you….that is the main reason why I gave up on watching and supporting GH. It was nice to see the characters on OLTL join the canvas on GH, but at the cost of destroying the characters….uh no! They killed off baby Hope & Cole…then quickly throw John & Sam together….and one of the final straws, killing off Tea’s baby that she had with Victor, I lost my cookies…

digital Idealist
digital Idealist

I am happy with the end of Jolie. I know GH is safe from Natalie.

Annalee
Annalee

Yessssss! Shout it from the rooftops! From Bill Carroll’s lips to fans ears!
Hiphip hopray! ********

Christine
Christine

I am an eternal pessimist. It is easier to be a glass-is-half-empty kind of gal then to have high expectations and be disappointed all the time. 🙂

That is really nice for The Hollywood Reporter to do this article considering they had many here wanting their heads for their shoddy commentary on the Daytime Emmys not too long ago.

That being said, this is what I have been saying all along, as quoted: “Says Carroll, “At some point in the future, the trend will once again be soap operas.”

Whether the networks will get into their thick heads that the fans want the soaps to continue and NOT these stupid talk/variety what-have-you shows, remains to be seen. I have said and will always say that everything old is new again. We might lose all our shows eventually, but SOMEday the soaps will be back. It may not be in my lifetime, but it will happen.

Nancy
Nancy

I have watched soaps for almost 50 years. I for one love them and am very attached to the characters. This was a false maneuver by ABC that said soaps were dead. They have lost thousands of viewers and if they cancel GH I am permanently done with ABC along with millions of viewers who absolutely love that show. I have a very small amount of hope to get the cancels shows back and would love some kind of a combination. GH talks about Pine Valley and Llanview and shows respect to the loyal viewers. I have not patience left for ABC.

Mary SF
Mary SF

Bill Carroll is full of it when he said soap fans realized we could lose these treasures so we started watching again. WE WERE ALWAYS HERE- the networks were the ones that cancelled our beloved shows, forcing us to go to the remaining soaps to get our fill of daytime drama. Instead of splitting the viewer pool among 8 or 9 soaps as they once did, we are down to four- there aren’t more viewers just less soaps competing for the same viewers. And his words sounded more like a threat to me- watch these remaining shows or they might be cancelled too. I think this is all BS from the PTB to give soap fans a bone- to whet their hope their cancelled show might come back . This article doesn’t make me happy- it pisses me off because so many great soaps should have never been cancelled in the first place.

ashlee
ashlee

When and if daytime soaps make this resurgence, there will have to be a LOT of differences! No ridiculous back from the dead stories…no teenagers desperate to be mothers and wives…no villains who ALWAYS triumph..etc. Soaps went wrong and viewers turned away for a reason. Give us honest to goodness heartwarming stories like Gilmore Girls. Give us a campy funny sophisticated hybrid like Desperate Housewives. Give us a crime soap that blends Criminal Minds with long gone Edge of Night. You dont need bloated casts of 40 contract players. Give us a prime time sized cast. They dont have tir every day…air them 3 days a week. Next…don‘t hire the same writers and producers who failed at every soap. Hire new people…get interns…hire fresh writers…and LISTEN to the fans. There has been a statement forever, and it goes like “Happy couples are boring.“ but you know what? I NEVER heard a fan say that. I heard a producer, a writer, a network exec…etc say that. People dont want to be bombarded with constant misery. Keep popular couples together. There is enough human drama in ordinary relationships to fuel story for years. This can happen!

ashlee
ashlee

And seriously…get back to writing for characters that people root for. And romance! That breathless anticipation for favourite couples to get together is what drew soap fans in. It was not plastic surgeried psychos, mobsters who murder, violent graphic rape scenes, etc. People want to escape and be entertained!

Dmitri
Dmitri

The soaps need to be brought back, but I do think that, besides GH, the remaining soaps need to fix their writing. Storylines on the shows, notably Days, are very dull and bland. Since there is nothing new, viewers will tune out.

Ces
Ces

Couldn’t agree with you more about Days. The writing on that show is extremely boring & predictable. I find myself nodding off just watching it.

Dmitri
Dmitri

Exactly, I know many people who fall asleep because the writing is predictable! Seriously! We already knew Gabi would get pregos with Will’s child and we know now that Sami will choose Rafe over EJ for the billionth time.

Blake
Blake

I wish ABC would swallow their pride and bring back OLTL!

MK
MK

Not having all the shows re-air on SN has helped. GH is keeping the surprises and excitement from the 80’s is back and GH is GH. Days is OK, and YR is undecided. Bold is still the Liam and Hope show.

Sheryl Postin
Sheryl Postin

They should admit their mistakes and bring back the two soap operas that all the fans watch . OLTL and AMC belong on tv and it is a real shame what happen .It takes a big man to admit he was wrong and fix the problem.

Pat
Pat

YES, YES, YES, BRING BACK OLTL!!!!!!! Miss OLTL every day.

Sheshoe
Sheshoe

We can only hope that this will come close to bringing back something that was so very special! Still have a big hole in my afternoons without AMC & OLTL!! I would be so happy just to have those back even with cast changes!

James McDonald
James McDonald

I’m from the days when soap operas and game shows were a hot commodity on daytime television. Of course, you only had CBS, NBC and ABC then with independent tv stations. The only cable channels may have been PBS and TBN.
A Soap opera could branch off into a second soap opera, such as, Another World and Somerset.
I’m sorry to see soap operas disappearing from the broadcast channels. One Life to Live had a nice send off with some actors continuing their role on General Hospital.
But I think everyone would have liked All My Children to continue and what a cliff-hanger it had.
I don’t see any reason why All My Children could not be brought back at some point or any soap opera from the past for that matter. Maybe a 30 minute format would work well.
Who would like Santa Barbara, Ryan’s Hope or Dark Shadows to return?
I’m surprised Days of Our Lives has not created a spin-off by now.
Okay, talk shows are cheaper, but I’m getting tired of all the phony, scripted chat of unknown people we will only see once and then forget.
Soap operas can still be exciting and with adventure.

Mary SF
Mary SF

Another World had a third spin off- I want to call it Texas for some reason, but I’m not sure if that was the name. I know Iris Wheeler ( Mac’s daughter) moved from AW to that soap. It focused on a family in Texas and it ran right after AW for a couple of years at least- I liked that one too. I also missed Capitol and Ryan’s Hope and my first soap ever was Edge of Night. But I don’t know if the hey day of soaps would ever return, and if it did it would be something different- maybe more like the mini series format, which could work too.

Rodd
Rodd

What Mr. Carroll said about soaps becoming the new trend at some point may come true somewhere way down the line, but I doubt it will be anytime soon. I bet many people reading this would love for one or more of their cancelled soaps to be put back on the air. I know I would. But I also think that’s highly unlikely. Combos, like the frequent cross-pollenation of GH/OLTL/AMC mentions and characters is a thrilling way to keep some portion of our favorite shows alive and for TPTB to save money.

If soaps become the “new” trend some day, I will be most happy if they employ some form stars from my old shows. But regardless of if actors I’ve watched are on the new show, I’ll always mourn the loss of some of my favorite soaps. I’d love it if they did “specials” where they’d revive certain soaps for a two-hour “update” from time to time. As soap fans, I think we’ve become accustomed to taking the crumbs we’re given by the networks…some might call that loyalty; a quality the “suits” don’t care about.

~ My apologies if I mis-typed any words. I don’t have my glasses on. :0)

Jules
Jules

The ONLY storyline I care about on GH has been dragging on since March of this year: Robin’s alive and being held against her will. TEN MONTHS!!!! Kimberly’s doing other things yada yada yada. Don’t LIE and pretend like you’ve revolutionized the daytime serial. You’re still doing the same shtick. Besides, all soaps have infused humor and intrigue and high stakes drama for decades. This isn’t something new. You still have work to do, mainly in the storytelling department, but also in the resisting- the-urge-to-hire-useless-newbies front too.

And DAYS, Nicole’s pregnancy that went on forever! It wouldn’t end! And then it did in such a climactic way, only for the conclusion process (fall, blame, reveal) to take 3 weeks. It’s doing some things right (Caroline’s Alzheimers, Will’s coming out, Kristen’s return, EJami exploration) but for every hit there’s been a miss.

B&B is probably the most structurally sound (from the inside and from the outside) than any other soap, and that’s a bit of an issue given that their biggest reason for watching was wasted these past few years and now recently left. There’s not much more pull this show has. L-rd knows the never ending tug of Liam war has aggravated more viewers than it’s enticed.

Don’t even get me started on Y&R.

Ranting aside, I don’t believe we’ll ever see a resurgence in the daytime soap. We’ll be telling our grandchildren about them in past tense. They’ll recognize the format through adapted primetime shows, but a 5 day a week / 52 week per year show? I think this gentleman is being blindly optimistic or just doesn’t want to get booed on the street by soap fans like Frons. Either way, it’s a lovely thought, but my realistic side says it aint gonna happen.

JustSaying
JustSaying

Bill Carroll – “What’s happened is the core audience realized these treasures might go away. They decided they’d better watch, or the shows are not going to be there.”

I hope he’s referring to reality tv shows. Trust me, those “treasures” will go away when the core audience stops watching them.

heidi
heidi

Love it!!! Somewhat… Vindication! Do it right and it’s successful! Threaten with extinction and you will see angry viewers unite and watch! Just get the measurement fixed to deal with current day watching mediums and they would find there are even more viewers watching whenever they can!

robert
robert

Great news. Love that the ABC replacement shows are failing. Soaps are the only shows that have consistent ratings every day.

SUSAN
SUSAN

i agree robert abc has to admit they made mistake big time by

under estimating the soap fan base, i am glad katie is falling flat on her “rich butt”

like she needs more money and the revolution what a waste of air time what
a dumb thing to replace otlt with that silly show, well it is gone ha ha!!
and the chew never watched it never will,

abc should have left amc and oltl alone and gh is an example of how popular soaps are with fans since the ratings are up

just my opinion

Ces
Ces

I really hope all talk shows fail and reality shows right after them. There is a reason I watch my two soaps and reruns of great comedy shows (Frasier, Cheers); it’s because we fall in love with characters, not regular people airing dirty laundry.

Christine
Christine

Oh, CHEERS. That show NEVER gets boring does it? 🙂

Now that we do not have Directv (best decision ever!!) we rely on whatever comes from the antenna. I get to watch the old Hawaii Five-O, Petticoat Junction, Mr. Ed, and all the I Love Lucy I can take – she never gets old for me either. These are just a few that are on, but they are classic shows that were well-written and not this reality garbage.

I hope reality and talk fails too. I took a stand this year and gave up ALL reality shows (and I watched decent ones like Amazing Race/Survivor and not crap like the Kardashians) but I wanted to be true to my word. I would rather not have one single reality show if that would keep the soaps alive and bring back more.

Ces
Ces

Yeah, the classics are always fun to watch, I agree!

I wish I could get rid of DirecTV seeing is how I only watch a handful of programs and football, but definitely researching other options 😉

I admit I watch the Kardashians but I’m extremely sick of that family, other than that I enjoy Top Chef but I don’t consider that reality TV. I’ve never watched the rest of that junk nor will I watch talk shows since Oprah went off the air.

Mary SF
Mary SF

I blame Oprah- she made that whole genre huge and when her show went off the air, every network including cable thought they could create the next Oprah. I agree I don’t find listening to other people’s problems entertaining. Are we are supposed to ” learn” how to be better people from these shows? If so then why do they cater to the lowest instincts of mankind and exploit it for profit? Sure these talk shows touch the same subjects as soaps, but it isn’t so distrubing watching a fictional story about adultery as it watching some poor lady pour her soul out on national television while her cheating husband watches. I know these shows all have their fans, because they wouldn’t be on the air otherwise, but I never understood the appeal. So I say we blame Oprah for the changing the landscape of daytime television from scripted drama to infotalk

Christine
Christine

I agree with you, Mary SF. I am sure there are fans of these kinds of talk shows, but I am not one of them. Back when we had plenty of soaps still, I watched Oprah – that was until I saw her for the phony that she really is – it was a few years before she did a show around that stupid book, The Secret. But that really ruined any respect or credibility she had with me. The only other part of her show I really liked was when Dr. Phil would do his segments because he was the ONLY man that could get that woman to be quiet and not talk over everyone. I was delighted when he got his own show only to see the format so cheesy and more of the same that we got from Phil Donahue, Montel, you name it. And now we have Katie who thinks she is revolutionizing daytime TV, but she is just more of the same with the exception that she was once a respected journalist and now she has shown she is money-hungry and desperate just like the rest of them.

I also used to watch Rosie until she insulted Tom Selleck and then I was immediately done with her and anything to do with her. Ellen came along and I watched her for a few months, but I find talk shows to be so tedious – just filler for when there is nothing else on to watch. I gave up Jay Leno and David Letterman for the same reason. Not to mention I have two little kids so my FREE time is very important to me. When I do watch something, I want an escape from it all – my soaps. I am with you, Mary SF, I could care less about the nonfiction on these talk shows. I just want scripted drama from shows I have watched and enjoyed for many years.

I think there is a place for all these shows to coexist, but not at the expense of more soap carnage. Ellen, game shows, soaps, even stupid things like The Chew would be more accepted if they were not at the expense of our soaps.

Maureen
Maureen

I want OLTL back! I watch GH and nothing else on ABC.

Michael
Michael

They would be so smart if they created a “new” soap with characters from One Life and Al My Kids. But only if Frank/Ron could create along with their work on GH.

Zoe
Zoe

I am totally with you, Michael. Those soaps used to intermingle all the time, with Herb Callison going to Pine Valley and Linc and Kitty going to Llanview. It would not be that hard to update that blending and honor the history of both. Are you listening, Carroll?

AJ
AJ

I have been struggling to like Bold and Beautiful to get my soap fix, but honestly the writing is just too bad and too much incestuous-like bed hopping. This soap can ever be like AMC, OLT or Edge of Night were. Two years into B&B and all I see is a one-sided soap where writers disregard even recent historical fact to favor one group of characters over another. Obvious that they NEVER hire medical or legal consultants and it is insulting because their audience is educated. Writers don’t realize that ALL contract characters are important and are just not there to move the storyline along for others. They should have their own storylines SOMETIMES independent of others — why many are fatigued with sl. Lastly, women who have done what Brooke Logan has done should NOT be anyone’s matriarch — that is laughable!

SUSAN
SUSAN

quit watching b&b just all bed hopping

brooke logan has been in bed with everyone on the show just about

and know ridge is gone and forgotten my opinion she will continue to do so

i realize people like b&b but they need to re group and start over with moral and
family values

AJ
AJ

The length of time that I have watched soaps, the main family was always the standard bearer with family members who did not cross certain lines. They made mistakes, but you could count on them to usually do the right thing. B&B is a just a free-for-all, no edit buttons, no boundaries. The only ones Brooke has not slept with are Liam, Bill, Justin and Anthony, but since KKL got a 2-year contract, there is still time.

Really wish the focus of the show were about something else other than pitting characters against each other, and the winners are always the same.

AJ
AJ

ABC really needs a second soap. Since the Mannings moved to GH, why bring back the original Lords, Rileys, Woleks, from OLTL and the Chandlers, Martins, and the Tylers from AMC for a new soap.

Jacob Young was the best Jr Chandler, and the worse Rick Forrester!

All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

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EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

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EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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All My Children

All My Children Reunion with Josh Duhamel, Ricky Paull Goldin, Cameron Mathison and More; Later Debbi Morgan Live

It’s a big finale of the weeklong virtual celebration of the iconic All My Children.  On tap today in EW’s series to benefit Feeding America during the COVID-19, some major names from the history of Pine Valley and who had story with each other participating in the chat, premiering at 10 a. m. EST.

Taking part in the walk down memory lane are none other than Josh Duhamel (Ex-Leo), Ricky Paull Goldin (Ex-Jake), Chrishell Stause (Ex-Amanda), Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan), Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenelee) and Melissa Claire Egan (Ex-Annie).

But that’s not all folks! Daytime Emmy winner, Debbi Morgan will participate in a live virtual chat with EW.com today beginning at 3 p.m. EST/12 p. m. PST.  Now will be your chance to hear from the one and only Angie Hubbard from the beloved ABC daytime drama series.

Over the week, EW.com has posted other virtual conversations with notables from Pine Valley, you can check them out here.

So, will you be checking out today’s one-two punch of AMC favorites? Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Weeklong Virtual Reunions Kick-Off With Ripa, Consuelos, LaRue and Penny

Beginning this morning, Tuesday, May 26th, a weeklong virtual celebration with the cast of All My Children is on tap for fans of the beloved ABC daytime drama series, featuring a “Who’s Who of Pine Valley”.

The weeklong event is brought to you by EW.com and PEOPLETV.com and starts at 10 am EST/PST.   You can watch it right here.

Featured in the first installments are  the Santos family which includes: real-life marrieds, who met on All My Children, Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley) and Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), as well as Eva LaRue (Maria) and Sydney Penny (Julia).

Episode 2 coming up on Wednesday will feature: Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin), Cady McClain (Dixie Cooney Martin), Jennifer Bassey (Marian Colby Chandler), Jill Larson (Opal Cortlandt), and Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard).

The weeklong event is in support of Feeding America helping those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information and how you can make a donation visit ew.com/allmychildrenreunion

So, let us know what you think of the first installment featuring the Santos clan from Pine Valley as they reunite for a good cause via the comment section below.

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