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Is Brian Frons on his way OUT at ABC Daytime?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

This morning, the New York Post has a very intriguing item that ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons, who just canceled both One Life to Live and All My Children may finally be on his way out at the alphabet network! But before you get to excited, ABC reps are denying it.  Here is the juicy tidbit from Page Six at the NYPost!

“ABC Daytime honcho Brian Frons is in hot water over the cancellation of  One Life to Live and All My Children, sources said. After Hoover announced it will yank ads over the soap axing, other advertisers like Hershey’s and L’Oreal are getting heat from consumers to pull ads. Insiders are pointing at Frons, with whispers he may be in his final days.

And Kelly Ripa and The View hosts have been told to cease their death-of-the-soaps talk. An ABC rep said Frons “is not leaving the network . . . There has been no directive to the ladies of The View or Kelly Ripa.”

So what do you think soapers? ABC had denied reports that both AMC and OLTL were about to be canceled and then they were! So could the Frons report be the truth, or just wishful thinking?

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0 Comments

  1. Brian

    April 21, 2011 at 8:45 am

    ABC would be wise to reverse this cancelation. How much money would be saved (since this is what it is about to them) if they do indeed fire Brian Frons?

    • dorothy

      April 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

      brian frons is the spawn of satan he needs to go!

      • Carolyn

        April 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

        ICAM!!

    • Sharon King

      April 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm

      I hope that Brian is on the chopping block—-along with his STUPID ideas for daytime TV. The way that he “broke the news” to AMC and OLTL about the cancellation was inexcusable!!! Fifteen minutes before the “official announcement??!!!” I hate cooking/talk shows—–will not be watching. ABC has lost another loyal viewer.

  2. Jason

    April 21, 2011 at 9:01 am

    step one almost done for getting our soaps back.

  3. Matt S.

    April 21, 2011 at 9:02 am

    ABC also denied that OLTL & AMC were going to be canceled, too, so their word doesn’t hold a lot of weight with me at the moment.

    • dorothy

      April 21, 2011 at 9:34 am

      with me i wont be watching abc after the last show is aired and they can thnk Fons for that and for thousands of folks like me i am thinking of putting abc on child block just so i dont make any mistakes nothing they have on that network is worth the loss of AMC

      • Carolyn

        April 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

        This was my first thought, as well. That’s what I did when CBS axed ATWT. The only thing I watch there is Y&R and B&B. I keep myself amused with cable shows.

  4. kim delmotte

    April 21, 2011 at 9:04 am

    i sure hope he goes and save the soaps

    • dorothy

      April 21, 2011 at 9:34 am

      ill pay his cab fare home He needs to go

  5. Jon Jensen

    April 21, 2011 at 9:07 am

    My money is on abc will fire Frons as a PR decision to try to stop the negative feedback for cancelling One Life to Live and AMC. NY Post wants to speak with Robin Strasser and she claims on her Twitter that she has been given a directive not to speak.

  6. Jen Bryan

    April 21, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I always go with the opposite of what ABC says. They are liars IMO and I don’t trust them.

    • dorothy

      April 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

      you got it friend and it will never change as long as Brian frons is employed

  7. Rob

    April 21, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I dont think they are going to save both soaps, if any.

    OLTL stands a better shot of being spared, but Im not holding my breath. Gotta give it up to the viewers for pressuring the advertisers!!!

  8. Norissima

    April 21, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Can we please get Frank Valentini as daytime prez. Fronzies time is soooo over!

  9. kay killgore

    April 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

    When he goes can he take the President with him. Does anyone find it strange we have food shows replaceing soaps. Michele Obama teling us how to eat as she stuffs ice cream in her face. Get out of our lives I want my country back!!!!!

    • Karen

      April 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

      Lady, I don’t know what planet you’re from, but your comment is ridiculous. The Presidentand first lady have nothing to do with this. You want your country back? Why don’t you get in a time machine and go back to the nineteenth century. This forum is about the cancellation of the soaps. It all has to do with ABC/Disney/Frons. They don’t want to spend the money to produce the soap operas. They want to replace them with cheaply produced cooking and reality shows.

      • dorothy

        April 21, 2011 at 10:43 am

        like we realy need another cooking show we already have an entire network on it The food chanell !Not being interested in learning to cook at 71 yrs of age i will have no trouble rejecting this !and any other show on abc after all my childrens last day!

      • Kaydee

        October 25, 2011 at 7:01 am

        Karen, NICE comeback! I was confused about the Obama reference. too

  10. lisa

    April 21, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Be still my beating heart …could it be true ??? 🙂

    Brian Frons on his way out ?? 🙂

    • dorothy

      April 21, 2011 at 10:43 am

      there is a GOD

  11. lizzievee

    April 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I think the heads of ABC are liars and hope the news of him leaving this is true.

    • dorothy

      April 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

      so hard to believe a habitul liar isnt it?

    • ashley

      April 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      I DONT THINK THEY WANT TO LISTEN TO US BECOUSE THEY JUST DONT CARE I THOUGHT THE TV NETWORKS WERE HERE TO GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT TO WATCH GUESS IM WRONG THEY JUST WANT CHEEP SHOWS BUT IF NO ONE WATCHES WONT THY LOSE MORE MONEY? WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE BRIAN ALL THE WAY TO THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE THEN YOU CAN SIT HOME AND WATCH YOUR DUMB SHOWS YOU WILL BE THE ONLY ONE WATCHING

  12. Ellen

    April 21, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I would love nothing more than to see both AMC and OLTL come off the chopping block, but even if they don’t 🙁 , letting Frons go would still be a wise move. I honestly do not believe TPTB at ABC had any idea how powerful a group ABC Soap Fans (and soap fans overall) are, and we will not let it go until we are heard – all petitions signed and advertisers pulling their ads. Thank you Hoover for listening and acting! Let’s hope other advertisers join the fight!!! I think this endeavor can still be WON !!!!! Let’s do all we can to keep all the good people behind the scenes and in front of the camera at AMC and OLTL employed, as they deserve to be.

  13. Lisa

    April 21, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Frons is indeed on his way out. I seriously don’t know how he has kept his job this long with the way he has pissed off fans and destroyed daytime television.

  14. Sally

    April 21, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I am loving this article. It has to be huge if it made Page Six , whether true or not!!!!! LOL 🙂 Remember the old commercial, “It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature?” All I can picture is a new version, with Agnes Nixon saying, “It’s nice to mess with Mama Nixon” LOL and another version with Susan Lucci saying, It’s not nice to mess with Erica Kane!!!!” LMAO!!!!

    • Sally

      April 21, 2011 at 11:57 am

      I hate typos LOL. It should have said above, It’s not nice to fool with Mama Nixon.

  15. Karen

    April 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    We definitely don’t need anymore reality, cooking or so called lifestyle shows! The networks love them because they are cheap to produce. Thats really it in a nutshell. Even if they don’t change their minds, we can still make our opinions about these cancellations heard. It is going to hurt ABC and it already had. Frons may indeed one day become their fall guy and take the heat for it. I won’t be sorry to see him go, he had no compassion on the actors, production crews or the fans of these soaps.

  16. Heidi

    April 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Being un-employed I do not wish anyone to be out of a job…but if it would help to rumor it a bit to get him and his superiors to re-think their decision that would be a very good thing!

  17. Jeffrey More

    April 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Mr. Frons favorite is GH you can tell but i’m sure it too will one day be on the chopping block.

  18. mike

    April 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    We all have to call L’Oreal and Hershey and keep up the pressure. One of the shows could still be saved or a least we can get rid of Frons.

  19. Kevin

    April 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Having been a GH fan since 1977, I finally gave it up 2 years ago as the show has become unrecognizable. Frons & Phelps let Guza run wild with stupid plot driven stories, killed off all the vets or shoved them into the basement at GH never to be seen again.

    One thing I loved about the soaps is that if you stopped watching for a period of time you could turn it on and see some of the same core families/characters and jump right back in due to having respect for the history of the show….

    The Three Stooges (Guza, Frons & Phelps) all deserve to be shown the door. I would love to see Wendy Riche back at ABC to replace Frons, Frank Valentini should replace Phelps and Sri Rao should replace Guza, all three respect the genre and history of the show they work on.

  20. Afrodite

    April 21, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    He should have been gone YEARS ago.

  21. argh

    April 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    There is a reason the soaps lost ratings. They write complete crap. Try writing what the fans want and maybe we would tune in. DUH

  22. david

    April 21, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Impossible to know because it is impossible to believe anything surrounding ABC in the absence of multiple, independent confirmations. People working with ABC are pathological liars or they couldn’t hold their jobs. Their major job requirement is the ability to lie constantly and under all circumstances, witness Barbara claiming Frons cried.

    • ashley

      April 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      BARBARA IS A OLD WRINKLED UP BITTY FIRE HER AND BRIAN TALK ABOUT OLD PEOPLE

  23. Em

    April 22, 2011 at 7:19 am

    If abc were smart they would listen to al lof the fans and let this “rumor” be true hoover seems to ne the only one listening to its fans. Hopefully others follow suit

    • Merry Joy

      June 3, 2011 at 12:06 am

      If you did your homework, Mr Frons has been planning ‘doing away with soaps ‘ for many years… He had friend Mr. Pratt hired to write for shows, and Pratt also doesn’t like soaps. Pratt purposely wrote bad scripts to discourage viewers. Frons is known for his sexist remarks. He is a greedy, Corporate w—-. That is putting it nicely. Soaps have many important topics they deal with…domestic abuse, drug/alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, bullying, aids, abortion…… People who don’t know facts, there are many in this case, should just think before you voice YOUR opinion.

  24. Lisa

    April 22, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Brian frons is the one who brought the ratings down on both soaps. Truth is I don’t believe the ratings are correct. There are millions of soap fans who dvr, tape and watch the soaps on a daily basis. I am one of those fans. Since the news of canceling the soaps I’ve stopped watching ABC except for my beloved soaps.
    This is a huge mistake and ABC will suffer the consequences of their actions.

    • ashley

      April 22, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      I DONT EVEN WATCH THE LOCAL NEWS ON ABC ANY MORE MY FAMILY NOW WATCHES CBS

      • Patrick Trubia

        April 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm

        Me neither, ABC used to be the network of choice in my home, it was on all the time. Those days are OVER!

  25. lew

    April 23, 2011 at 9:39 am

    If we are successful in saving our shows, changes should be made. We blame the writers, but they get their direction from the executive producers, who get their direction from the networks. The shows need writers who understand the genre and are committed to telling great stories. They also need to hire good actors. Back in the day, the soaps hired stage-trained actors, not the Barbies and Kens that we see today. The shows also need to listen to the fans. I understand that you need new characters for the future growth of the shows, but don’t forget about the beloved characters that brought us to the shows in the first place. Last but not least, I also know that happy couple in soaps is a boring couple. Everyone goes through drama and trauma for a while, but in the end, bring us back to the love. I am going to get off of my soap box for a while. Have a good weekend all!!!

  26. Theresa

    April 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Have watched GH since the days of Jessie
    Brewer back in the 60’s! Watched
    AMC in college and OLTL
    off and on. Also have watched
    soaps on other networks, but
    always loved ABC soaps the
    most. This has just left me
    incredibly sad and disappointed.
    Hoping beyond hope that
    Frons really does get the ax.
    Poetic justice for sure!

  27. Skyla

    April 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    He needs to go and OLTL and AMC need to be saved. OLTL went up to number three while he was canceling them and shoving money in his pockets in return for his quest in decimating an entire genre of television. The sponsors will continue to respond as long as we continue to call them. Frons need to be held responsible… he needs to go!!! There is NO WAY he should continue to be in charge!!! Screw The Chew, Down with The Revolutinon, and Fire Frons!!!!

  28. anna

    April 26, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Stop watching ALL ABC programing especially during primetime. They will know it is in protest of axing the soaps. It will especially hurt ABC if their ratings are down in May during “sweeps”.

  29. Patrick Trubia

    April 28, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Brian Frons deserves to be fired for his egregious mistake in misjudging the fans of OLTL and AMC! We will continue to fight and will not let this go. I and many are not watching any ABC programming other than OLTL & AMC. This network used to be on all day at my house and also many programming at night ,like the news, DWTS, Castle, and others but NO MORE! And there are many just like me! Stay tuned!

  30. Dean

    May 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    The departure of Brian Frons would be the best news any soap fan could hope for. I doubt it is true but at least there is a glimmer of hope.

  31. Jean

    May 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Frons is a destroyer…….he has destroyed good programming. He has betrayed loyal viewers so we will betray ABC. The only good shows on ABC are AMC, OLTL and Oprah. They will all be gone soon and the only crap they will offer us is The View and the two new idiot shows that will replace good TV. Barbara Walters and her crew are not age appropriate and yet we can’t seem to get rid of that group. Frankly, ABC has nothing to offer once the soaps are gone so why bother tuning in? ABC will tank!! Mickey Mouse would do a better job than Frons but then, he is not age appropriate but neither is Frons. PLEASE CANCEL FRONS and restore AMC and OLTL.

  32. Michelle

    June 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Firing B.S. Frons would be a great first step combined with the announcement that the cancellations of AMC and OLTL are being reversed and AMC is relocating back to NYC. The next great step would be to promote OLTL’s EP to Frons’ former position as President of ABC Daytime so that he can keep the shows under budget.

    My next recommendation would be to replace Jill Farren Phelps with Wendy Riche and replace Julie Hannen Carruthers with Pat Filishi Kuschel. I think David Shaughnessy could be a great fit for OLTL.

    ABC would be smart to lure Patrick Mulcahey to GH, Josh Griffith to OLTL, and keep Lorraine Broderick on AMC tapping Agnes Nixon to consult with both AMC and OLTL.

    Another thing soaps need to do is keep their cast pared to no more than twenty core players, balancing screen time carefully between all of them. Instead of hiring cheap, mediocre talent, the shows would be better off doing what prime time does and keeping a long list of recurring talent that it can tap, as needed.

    All I know is that I will NOT be watching ABC at all if they go through with their plans to replace scripted daytime drama with Binge-Purge-Talk programming. My last day of viewing ABC is OLTL’s last day on the air.

  33. Susan bushee

    June 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I truly hope it is true. Brian Frons needs to be fired. I will not watch anything that is put in place of AMC or OLTL. There’s not much left worth watching on ABC once the soaps are cancelled. The only decent show left is Castle. If the soaps are cancelled I will watch nothing on ABC.

  34. cheryl horner

    June 7, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Good, I hope they get rid of Frons! Alot of older people that have retired and have always watched their soaps in the afternoon are very very disappointed. Do you honestly think a chew show and health show is going to make it for ABC? Don’t think so, I am going to tune in for CBS from now on in the afternoon. If you get rid of GH as well, I don’t think ABC will be in business for long. Its not all about FRONS, and what he wants, its the viewers. Thank you!

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All My Children

‘Strahan, Sara and Keke’ Canceled by ABC; Show Aired In Timeslot That Once Housed ‘All My Children’

No matter a network tries to do, replacing All My Children, which ran for 41 years on ABC has remained as everyone that follows the world of daytime drama knows, problematic.  Now come word via Page Six that Strahan, Sara and Keke has been canceled.

The show hosted by Michael Strahan, Sara Haines and Keke Palmer if you recall, replaced the foodie show, The Chew which ran for seven seasons and was the first show to air in the timeslot that belonged for over four decades to All My Children. 

Back in March of this year, Strahan, Sara and Keke took a break to make way for ABC’s News  Pandemic: What You Need to Know, a daily coronavirus report anchored by Amy Robach, Dr. Jen Ashton and sometimes TJ Holmes.

However, because the show did well in that two-week experimental run it morphed into GMA 3: What You Need to Know.  The new version of the show also talked about hot topics in the current news cycle, as well.

ABC’s Catherine McKenzie began producing the “GMA3” show four months ago and the network officially announced her as Executive Producer of the program on Thursday.

While ABC has yet to officially announce Strahan, Sara and Keke is over, a spokesperson told Page Six: “We’re proud of our teams at ‘SSK’ and ‘GMA3’ and how quickly they transitioned to producing a daily show to give people the news and information they need during an unprecedented pandemic, and conversations continue about how the show will evolve in the months ahead.”

It appears that Strahan, Sara and Keke won’t be returning; the future as many of their staff have transitioned over to ‘GMA 3’ with producers from ABC News Live, (the streaming division), helmed by McKenzie.

As for the futures of Strahan, Haines and Palmer; Strahan will continues to host Good Morning America, and they are all actively under contract with the network.

So, what do you think of  ‘Strahan, Sara and Kek’e being replaced by ‘GMA 3: What You  Need to Know’?  How long do you think that show will last in the timeslot once taken up by residents of Pine Valley? Comment below.

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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.

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.

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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Video du Jour

B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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