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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.

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“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.”

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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
Brandi Bridges

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

Tina Fowble
Tina Fowble

I would watch for Slezak too

barbara t
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
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
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
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
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
cathy

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

barbara t
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 very little,we will see .I like the old timers there the backbone of general hospital.

Torrey
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
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
josephine

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

Lynn Edwards
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

Happy 57th Anniversary Today to General Hospital

ABC’s daytime drama, General Hospital turns 57 today, and remains the current longest-running soap opera on the air.  GH debuted back on April 1, 1963.

The show was created by the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Doris Hursley.  Originally, the soap was not given a name of a particular town in which the drama of the hospital was set in.  However, that all changed in the 1970’s when GH was set in Port Charles.

GH expanded from a 30-minute show to a 45-minute show on July 26, 1976 and eventually went to a full-hour where it has remained back on January 16, 1978.

Throughout its decades on the air, GH was the impetus for two spin-offs; Port Charles, (which aired from 1997-2003) and primetime’s GH: Night Shift (2007-2008),

The show went through many ups and downs over its history, but things changed dramatically for the better, when by the end of the 1970’s and facing cancellation, ABC brought in executive producer, Gloria Monty to steer the ship.  Monty created supercouple Luke and Laura played by Tony Geary and Genie Francis, and opened the show up with exciting location shoots, and from then on GH has remained a firm mainstay in the daytime line-up.

Today, Frank Valentini is the series executive producer, and the soap is co-written by the head writing team of Dan O’Connor and Chris Van Etten.

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As 80%, as of now, in the US are reported to be homebound due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the latest ratings for the week of March 23, 2020, GH drew 2.57 million viewers,- its strongest week since March 19, 2018.  So, more eyeballs are tuning-in to the drama in Port Charles.

Share your congratulations and well-wishes to the cast, crew, and creatives at General Hospital for 57 years of drama, romance and intrigue via the comment section below.

But first, vote in our poll for your favorite storyline or moment of all-time on GH.  If your favorite is not one of the choices listed in the poll, let us know in the comment section which is your favorite, or if you voted for one of the selections, let us know why, too! 

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General Hospital

General Hospital to Air Encore Episodes On ‘Flashback Fridays’ To Help Stretch Out Originals During COVID-19 Shutdown

With the coronavirus changing our lives every today, and a return to production in the air for so many TV series, General Hospital will now air four new episodes a week to stretch out the remaining episodes they have banked before the COVID-10 pandemic forced soap opera production to come to a full work stoppage.

Now, starting this Friday, om the April 6th, the ABC daytime drama series w will air repeat episodes every Friday through May 22.

These encore presentations will be called “Flashback Fridays,” and each episode will feature an introduction from a  General Hospital cast member.

To kick things off, this Friday, the series will air a repeat of last year’s 56th-anniversary episode, with an  intro by Laura Wright. GH fans will recall that episode centered around the reading of the late Gail Baldwin’s will.

According to The Wrap:  :At the time of the production break, the ABC soap had enough episodes pre-taped to carry originals into May.”

Tomorrow on April 1st, will also mark GH’s 57th anniversary.

So what do you think of the plan to stretch out original episodes bu adding in one encore a week; until GH can get back to producing more episodes? Comment below?

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General Hospital

The Triumphant Return of Kelly Thiebaud As GH’s Dr. Britt Westbourne

When a shocked Nurse Felix Dubois (Marc Anthony Samuel) exclaimed “Dear lord, the Britch is back,” after seeing none other than Dr. Britt Westbourne with her lab coat hovering around the nurses station at “General Hospital”, you knew things were about to go down on the ABC daytime drama series.

Over the past few weeks, Kelly Thiebaud has been in action on-screen on General Hospital as the the trouble-making, complicated, Britt.   Since returning to the canvas, viewers learned that: Britt has been paroled from her previous crimes, seems to say she believes and actually likes her half-brother, Peter August (Wes Ramsey), has confronted her mutter in jail (Liesl Obrecht played by Kathleen Gati), whom Peter framed, and showed up at Brad’s (Parry Shen) hearing to be there for her bestie, who has been in hot water for the baby switch of Wiley.

But, there have been a lot more intriguing things than even that! Britt is now hitting the sheets with none-other than Julian (William deVry), and also let him know in no uncertain terms she knows his part in the whole Brad cover-up.   But what is her true motive?  We also learned in a run-in at GH, that Neil (Joe Flanigan) and Britt know each other from somewhere.  He is trying to put his finger on just where, but does Britt know? Probably!

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However, the best  and most entertaining moment on soaps last week was when Britt arrived in her lab coat to GH and revealed to both Felix and Liz (Rebecca Herbst) that she had worked hard enough to be able to get her medical license restored … and that Monica (Leslie Charleson) brought her on with a provisional acceptance as a temporary replacement for Dr. Kim Nero as an OBGYN for the hospital. Felix says give it two weeks and she will do something to mess things up.

Photo: JPI

Just then, in our favorite scene of the week, Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) and Ava (Maura West) happen by, and when Britt, who is Nik’s ex, sees him she saunters over to him and slaps him hard across the face and spits out, “That’s for Spencer.”  She goes on to berate him for how he hurt his son; by letting him believe that his father was dead for three years!  Britt tells Nikolas it would serve him right if Spencer knew spoke to him again.

Next, Elizabeth chimes in and tells Britt to stop acting all high and mighty.  Britt fires back that she is not surprised that Liz, another one of Nik’s ex’s, would defend him.  Britt says, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

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Scene after scene, Kelly Thiebaud has lit up the screen and put the “feisty” back onto the ABC soap opera.  As an actress, Kelly can go from the heavy drama, to the comedic, to the sexy, all with ease.

In the March 30th issue of Soap Opera Digest, Thiebaud said of her return:  “Frank Valentini reached out to me the beginning of the year and mentioned that the writers wanted to bring me back for a bit.  I said,’Of course, I will,  I would love nothing more than that!”‘ I just really connect with Britt and have a blast playing her.”

So let us know, have you been enjoying the return of Kelly as Dr. Britt Westbourne, thus far? What do you think Britt is up to? Comment below.

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Knots Landing favorites: Joan Van Ark (Valene), Michele Lee (Karen) and Donna Mills (Abby)  chat with Michael Fairman in honor of Knots Landing’s 40th anniversary. Leave A Comment

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Kelly Thiebaud as Britt

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Airdate:3-23-2020

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