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Jill Farren Phelps tapped as new EP for groundbreaking telenovela on Nickelodeon! Josh Griffith to write!

Photo Credit: Wenn Photo

Photo Credit: Wenn Photo

The former executive producer of General Hospital, Jill Farren Phelps, (who was let-go  when ABC Daytime brought Frank Valentini to steer the ship in Port Charles) will be at the helm for a brand new soap opera/telenovela for Nickelodeon!  The show, Reach For A Star is an adaptation of the popular Mexican telenovela; Alcanzar Una Estrella!

The new series is set to debut on their Nick At Nite block this summer. The cable outlet has ordered 80 episodes already of the series, which is good news for the show and puts this kind of a series on cable, which could give hope if its successful for others to follow.   Josh Griffith has been named head writer, whose previous soap work as writer and/or producer was with The Young and the Restless, One Life to Live and As the World Turns.

What we do know about Reach For A Star is that it is a single-camera, daily series that will follow Loren, an average high school senior whose life changes completely upon becoming a star and winning the love of her celebrity crush. Casting is currently underway, with production due to start in March.    You can view excerpts from the official Nickelodeon press release after the jump!

PRESS RELEASE: “Nickelodeon, in partnership with Televisa, has ordered 80 episodes of a groundbreaking, original one-hour U.S. adaptation of the popular Mexican telenovela, Reach for a Star (Alcanzar una Estrella) for Nick at Nite, it was announced today by Cyma Zarghami, President of Viacom’s Nickelodeon Group; and Jose Baston President of Television and Content from Televisa. The first telenovela ever adapted for the U.S. audience, Reach for a Star is a single-camera, daily series following a teenage girl whose life changes completely when she becomes a star and wins the love of her teen idol. Reach for a Star will be produced in association with Sony Pictures Television and is set to premiere later this year on Nickelodeon’s nighttime block for families–Nick at Nite. Production begins in March in Los Angeles, Calif.

“We have experienced first-hand the popularity of the daily scripted format with our kid audience through the success of House of Anubis and our teen audience with DeGrassi: The Next Generation,” and our Nick Latin American channel has already had great success in producing telenovela’s with Televisa,” Ms. Zarghami said. “This partnership brings together Televisa’s un-matched leadership in the telenovela genre with our expertise in making content, and we’re looking forward to introducing this first true English-language telenovela to Nick at Nite’s family audience.”

“As part of the steps towards building a strong presence in the Anglo TV market, Televisa is excited to coproduce with Nickelodeon one of the many successful scripts from our library in a daily series format,” said Baston. We are convinced that the daily series will be well received by Nick’s family audiences, and will capture their attention daily as it has happened in different markets in the world where Televisa has exported its production capabilities. The Televisa and Nick alliance will certainly result in a successful formula, and we envision Reach for a Star as the first of many joint projects.

“For more than a decade Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) and Televisa have been strategically building upon their regional partnership that today encompasses, distribution, consumer products and co-productions,” said Pierluigi Gazzolo, Chief Operating Officer, VIMN. “Reach for a Star marks a dynamic new phase in our partnership and VIMN is incredibly excited to once again be expanding our content portfolio with Televisa.”

Reach for a Star follows Nickelodeon’s success with its live-action serialized series, House of Anubis and Degrassi. Nickelodeon has also experienced tremendous success with the format in Europe and Latin America. The Reach for a Star series is an adaptation of the hit Mexican telenovela, Alcanzar una Estrella, first broadcast on Canal de las Estrellas and Univision in 1990. The success of the series led to a film and sequel telenovela starring Latin American pop sensations, Ricky Martin and Sasha Sokol.

Reach for a Star follows a smart, shy and independent high school senior, Loren, who has ambitions of being a songwriter and secretly sends her song lyrics to her celebrity crush, rock superstar Eddie Wild. Loren’s wildest dreams come true when she not only wins a songwriting competition sponsored by Eddie, but strikes up a friendship with her idol. Eddie sees beyond Loren’s potential as a songwriter and gives her a first break as a singer, and when the truth about his less-than-faithful girlfriend Chloe is revealed, Eddie and Loren’s friendship blossoms.

The series will be co-executive produced by six-time Emmy Award-winner Jill Farren Phelps (General Hospital, One Life to Live) and Hisham Abed (The Hills and The City). Josh Griffith (Young and the Restless, As the World Turns) will serve as head writer.”

So what do you think of the news?  Do you think the show is of interest to you?  How do you feel about Phelps and Griffith’s running the new series? And any soap stars you think Jill and Josh should cast into the new series? Let us know!

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Brandi Bridges
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Brandi Bridges

I’d watch of Erika Slezak has a role in this new show! Someone seriously needs to snatch her up!

Tina Fowble
Guest
Tina Fowble

I would watch for Slezak too

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

whats with all the soaps popping up all over the place and the best one(one life to live)lays in waiting ,whats going on?Why cant everyone get together and save this soap before all the cast is gone ?If i had a couple of million dollars ,Id pitch in.erika slezak is vicki .I miss my landview people ,2 oclock is so boring I cant find anything to watch,seriously someone save one life to live before its to late.

Gloria
Guest
Gloria

You & me both. I told my husband “why can’t you be rich like Donald Trump & buy my damn show for me?” He said I would if I could! I miss OLTL so much. Why can’t someone,somehow save this show?

Enrique Buenrostro
Guest
Enrique Buenrostro

I think Andrew Trischitta or Eddie Alderson should be casted as the teen idol Eddie and I can see either Lexi Ainsworth or Hayley Evans

Monica
Guest
Monica

I was thinking of Eddie Alderson as well, but Andrew Trischitta would also be great. My daughter loves House of Anubis – even I got into it. Its wonderful that Nickelodeon is giving this a go and also fantastic to hear that a younger generation is hungry for scripted dramas.

B. Reese
Guest
B. Reese

I’d love to see Ted King, Erika Slezak, Trevor St.John and “Tea” from OLTL [having a mental block on actress’ name at the moment]. 🙂

Personally, I like all of the behind the scenes people mentioned. Jill is not well liked by some, but I’ve watched her shows for a long time and she does good work in my book. Also Josh Griffith on CBS and ABC.

I’ll be watching to see what they can do on a new network, and wishing them the best.

cathy
Guest
cathy

They can have JFP after how she treated the Robin character. Sick of her favoritism.

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

its not just robin ,that girl will be missed when she leaves ,ron and frank ,please dont let her die,put her in a coma somewhere,Ive watched her grow up since she was a little peanut,and I cant see her dying ,jfp is the one who started that franco stuff,I hope he is dead,I could care less if i ever see a port charles finger painting again.and if he turns out to be the father of sams baby,noooooooooooooooooooooo.didnt she also kill alan and put the quartermaines on the back burner,hell ,there not even on the show ,wheres bobbi ?wheres edward,monica,shes on… Read more »

Torrey
Guest
Torrey

Good to see that Nickelodeon is stepping in, where the Major Networks are failing….They see something that ABC needs to open up their eyes and see. People watch soaps!!! The audience may not be tens of millions, but there is a large audience out there, who enjoy their daily dose of daytime drama. Production & Formatting should have been thoroughly researched at ABC, before they pulled the plug on AMC & OLTL. There could have and should have been better ways to cut cost….other than just canceling both shows.

cathy trinque
Guest
cathy trinque

If greedy ABC/Disney would let Agnes Nixon have the rights to AMC and OLTL back we would see our soaps back in no time. But Iger is too greedy and selfish!

josephine
Guest
josephine

Rick Hearst is my pick. We miss him on GH. Amazing actor, incredible charisma.

Lynn Edwards
Guest
Lynn Edwards

Love the idea of “Reach for a Star”! Would like to see Rick Hearst again. He is very talented and was very under utilized at “Bold & Beautiful.” His portrayal of Ric Lansing on “General Hospital” garnered 2 Emmys. The complicated relationship that he and his brother Sonny had was always one of my favorite storylines!

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Helena, Jennifer Smith & The Ice Princess: What Did You Think of Luke Spencer’s Memorial?

Friday’s episode of General Hospital brought the highly-anticipated story around the apparent death of Port Charles iconic, Luke Spencer (Tony Geary), although many fans, and even some of the cast of the show, are not sold that Luke is “dead” dead.

During the show, characters spoke of some of the history of Luke in Port Charles, most especially Luke’s sister, Bobbie played by Jackie Zeman.  Throughout the years, Zeman is at her best when she is given material through the writing of the show to connect to the history of Luke and Bobbie.  She did so when Bobbie was remembering how Luke came to Port Charles to help her break up Scotty and Laura, in a discussion with her daughter, Carly (Laura Wright).

Photo: ABC

As everyone is gathering at the Haunted Star to pay their respects to Luke, Curtis (Donnell Turner) arrives to support Laura (Genie Francis), Felicia (Kristina Wagner) and Anna (Finola Hughes) arrive together, Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) and Ava (Maura West), as well as Spencer (Nicholas Alexander Chavez  also show up. It is through Nikolas’ conversation with Laura that we learn why Luke’s sons, Ethan and Lucky, can’t make the funeral and, of course, we know why Luke’s daughter Lulu can’t make it because she is in a coma!

Victor (Charles Shaughnessy) shows up and snipes at everyone and then leaves.  Tracy (Jane Elliot), who has arranged the memorial, is with an urn supposedly filled with Luke’s ashes and Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) finds her on the deck of the Haunted Star and talks her into giving her planned eulogy.

Courtesy/ABC

Meanwhile, Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) finds his dad, Sonny (Maurice Benard) drinking at Charlie’s, and later Scott (Kin Shriner) and Robert (Tristan Rogers) stop in and heated words are exchanged between Sonny and Scott. Victor shows up and instead of Scott and Sonny pummeling each other, they get into a fight against Victor.

Courtesy/ABC

As Scott and Robert are about to be on their way to the Haunted Star, Scott stays behind because of his past with Luke.  Then, Sonny tried to patch things up with Carly before they head to the memorial.

Back on the yacht, Anna and Felicia find a note and a flash drive, after hearing a commotion on the yacht.  When the note says “play me”, none other than Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers) addresses Luke’s friends and family from apparently the great beyond.  As Helena spews her venom against Luke, Laura has enough and pulls the plug on Helena’s video speech.  Tracy looks concerned, like she may want to hear whatever else Helena had to say.

Photo: ABC

Next, Tracy does her best in short order to eulogize Luke.  That is juxtaposed with Scott trashing Luke.  Later, by herself on the deck, Tracy spreads Luke’s ashes over the waters of Port Charles. Back on the pier, Scott relishes Luke being gone, and that he is still standing saying, “You lose you son of a bitch!” Just then Luke’s ashes blow in into his face.  When Bobbie arrives, and see Scott full of ashes, she asks what happened.  Scott says, “I caught the bouquet,” an obvious nod to the Luke and Laura wedding of the past, where Scott returned at their wedding and caught the wedding bouquet.

Courtesy/ABC

Back on the Haunted Star, Tracy then has a gift in hand for Laura, but she tells Tracy if that’s the Ice Princess she does not want anything to do with it, and tells Tracy to keep it.  Spencer sees this go down and his interest on the diamond is instantly piqued.

Back at Charlie’s bar, Victor has an ominous toast to Luke saying, “The good people of your fair city are in for a big surprise!”

At the Haunted Star, dressed in black with black veil, Jennifer Smith reveals herself to a shocked Laura.

So, what did you think of Luke’s memorial episode? Favorite parts of it? Least favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment section. But first, check out Helena’s videotaped speech and Tracy’s eulogy to Luke below.

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General Hospital

(WATCH) GH’s Genie Francis Shares: “I Just Have a Hard Time Believing, In My Heart, That The Great Luke Spencer Died in an Accident”

Today’s Friday episode of General Hospital, is set to feature the funeral of the iconic Luke Spencer (Tony Geary).

While family and friends will gather on the Haunted Star to memorialize him, what been teased by the ABC daytime drama is it will also set a whole storyline in motion.

ABC7 entertainment guru, George Pennacchio, spoke to several of the GH cast, who are involved in the episode including: Luke Spencer’s long-time love, Laura played by Genie Francis.

Francis exclaimed on the whole story: “I just have a hard time believing, in my heart, that the great Luke Spencer died in an accident.  No one stays dead on a soap. I don’t know how many times I’ve been dead. Really!”

Genie added: “I feel like they’re setting the stage, really, for a wonderful comeback and I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for that.”

Luke’s longtime friend played by Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio) shared: “And has it actually happened? I mean, frankly, we have a little urn about this big that’s supposed to contain him and that’s it.”

And Luke’s sister, Bobbie, played by Jackie Zeman, also weighed-in if Luke is really a-goner: “Sometimes you get these little red herrings so, as you know, George, you know, you never really know.”

Watch Pennacchio chat with the GH stars below.

Now weigh-in, do you believe Luke is very much alive and well? Held captive, or “dead” dead? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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General Hospital

FRIDAY: Luke Spencer’s Family and Friends Gather To Say Goodbye On General Hospital

On this Friday’s, January 21st episode of ABC’s General Hospital, look for Port Charles to bid farewell to the iconic character of Luke Spencer (Tony Geary).

In story, after his sudden passing, Luke’s loved ones gather – along with some surprise guests – to memorialize him at the Haunted Star, where things don’t go entirely as planned.  As the town says goodbye to Luke, an exciting new mystery unfolds.  Meanwhile, life continues to unravel for the rest of Port Charles as a beloved couple comes to a fork in the road of their relationship.

ABC released this new photo of those gathered to pay their respects to Luke including cast members: Kristina Wagner (Felicia), Finola Hughes (Anna), Donnell Turner (Curtis), Tristan Rogers (Robert), Dominic Zamprogna (Dante), Laura Wright (Carly), Maurice Benard (Sonny), Nicholas Alexander Chavez (Spencer), Marcus Coloma (Nikolas), Maura West (Ava), Jackie Zeman (Bobbie), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), Genie Francis (Laura) and Jane Elliot (Tracy).

 

Looking forward to this emotional episode of General Hospital? Share your thoughts on what you think will happen via the comment section below.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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