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LGBT beat Soaps: DAYS Adds a Splash of Gay as AMC Gals Bid Adieu!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In the latest issue of Frontiers IN LA Magazine spotlighting Fall Entertainment out today, there is a brand new piece from On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman in the publication and on its website of the current LGBT beat on daytime soaps.

The feature titled: Days Add a Dash of Gay as AMC Gals Bid Adieu takes a look at Days of our Lives approach to their storytelling and bringing on the first gay character in the shows history in Sonny Kiriakis, played by Freddie Smith.  With interviews with Smith, DAYS co-executive producer, Greg Meng, and Sonny’s on-screen mom, Daytime Emmy winner, Judi Evans, the NBC soaps tells how they making Sonny fit into the canvas, and what could be a big surprise come fall!

Plus, All My Children’s, Christina Bennett Lind and Sarah Glendening are interviewed, as it is almost time for Bianca and Marissa swansong as the show is soon to go off network television come September 23rd. The actresses discuss how they would like to see their story wrap-up on ABC, and the importance of their roles.  Here are a few excerpts below!

Greg Meng on the careful execution of telling Sonny’s story and integrating a gay character into the Salem canvas for the first time: “This has been discussed for a long time with a lot of thought. And yes, there were concerns, but it’s like, ‘Wow. Who are we? What are we thinking? It is time!’ We didn’t want to do some gay love story, or just go off on some extreme ripped-from-the-headlines political story, just to be telling a ‘gay story.’ We are looking at a long-term, longtime beloved characters type of situation for Sonny. It is about a character who is now on the show, and who by the way, is gay!”

© JPI Studios

Greg Meng on if the show received much pushback for trying to bring in a gay character or story: “There have been rumors that certain affiliates might pull out if we pursue this. We feel strongly about including a gay character or more on our show. It is part of life. We have the full support of the storyline all the way to the top at NBC, and all the way to the top at Sony. They know the challenges and obstacles we have, but they are extremely supportive, and in fact the comment has been, ‘Well, it’s about time.’

Freddie Smith on waiting to find out who Sonny’s love interest will eventually be! “I am excited to see who my love interest is going to be because that has been all the hype for the last four months. We’ve got Chad, Will and “T” as possibilities, unless I am going to go with an older man! [Laughs] You never know. If they picked an older character that would really mix it up. I legitimately don’t know who it’s going to be. I did for a minute, now it’s gone! They have to just go for it. Having Sonny have a love interest and another story going on for him, and mixing that together, makes him a three-dimensional character. Everyone on the show has a boy or a girl, and I am like the fifth wheel!” (Laughs)

Make sure to visit frontiersla.com to read the entire feature by clicking here!



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Bambi
Guest
Bambi

I’m already 100% in love with the character of Sonny.

Torrey
Guest
Torrey

It’s nice to see a show approach a gay storyline that is not all about flash…..you know just trying to get some quick media attention. I don’t watch Days, but I think it’s great that they are invested in showing diversity among their stories.

Cath
Guest
Cath

I already love Sonny too and I think that Freddie Smith brings charisma to the role. I wouldn’t have expected anything less for the awesome biochild of an awesome supercouple (Justin & Adrienne) and who was named after another awesome character (Sonny is a nickname for Jackson and was named after Adrienne’s brother Jack Deveraux, who I’m psyched to see coming back to the canvas in September).

All My Children

Rebecca Budig in Cast of CBS Holiday Movie ‘Fit For Christmas’

Daytime favorite Rebecca Budig (ex-Greenlee, AMC, and ex-Hayden, GH) will be seen in the upcoming CBS holiday movie, Fit For Christmas.

The movie also stars The Talk’s Amanda Kloots and she also serves as one of the executive producers and also co-wrote the project.  Budig joins Kloots along with When Calls the Heart favorite, Paul Greene in the holiday charmer.

In story, Fit For Christmas tells “the tale of Audrey, an enthusiastic Christmas-obsessed fitness instructor at a beloved, financially beleaguered community center in quaint Mistletoe, Mont., who begins a holiday romance with a charming, mysterious businessman, complicating his plans to turn the center into a more financially profitable resort property.”

Fit for Christmas is slated to premiere on Sunday, December 4th (8:30 ET/8 PT).

So, will you be watching Rebecca, Amanda and Paul in the holiday film? Do you somehow wish GH could bring back Budig as Hayden? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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All My Children

Kelly Ripa Talks On Her New Memoir ‘Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories’

Talk show host and All My Children alum, Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley) is opening up about her life and times in her highly-anticipated memoir available now, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories.

Ripa chatted exclusively with PEOPLE who got some of intel and dish on what’s included in the book.

Kelly told PEOPLE, when she landed the gig as the new co-host of Live with Regis and Kelly, with the late Regis Philbin back in 2001, she felt like she was “getting shot out of a cannon.”  Ripa was also appearing on All My Children at the same time.

She tells the story of when her agent called with the offer, Ripa was told: “They want you to know who your boss is. It was very ominous, and it did not feel good.”  Her agent also said the show didn’t want her, “bringing an entourage.” She brought two people. “I came with hair and makeup,” Kelly says. “It was not an unusual thing for people on a television show to show up with.”

She added that Regis greeted her with executive producer, Michael Gelman, saying: “Uh-oh, Gelman, it’s got an entourage.” It?!  Kelly expressed that she “felt horrible.  He was probably trying to be funny, but at the same time it felt like a pile-on.”

As for Philbin’s attitude at the time, Kelly shared, “I understand that probably he didn’t want a co-host, but the network wanted me to be the co-host and I didn’t think I should pass up that opportunity. I don’t think it was fair to him. But it was also not fair to me.”

Photo: JPI

The actress-talk show host-producer also talked on her marriage to Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo), whom she met while both were on All My Children, sharing that they were, “too young to get married! On paper it should not have worked and when it didn’t work, we really worked at it. We fought for our marriage when it would have been easier to quit and throw in the towel.”

According to the book publisher, HarperCollins:  “In ‘Live Wire’, her first book, Kelly shows what really makes her tick. Whether recounting how she and Mark (Consuelos) really met, the level of chauvinism she experienced on set, how Jersey Pride follows her wherever she goes, and many, many moments of utter mortification (whence she proves that you cannot, in fact, die of embarrassment) Kelly always tells it like it is. Ms. Ripa takes no prisoners.”

So, will you be ordering your copy of Kelly’s memoir? Let us know in the comment section below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue’s Stalker Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison

In a harrowing situation spanning 12 years, a man who threatened former All My Children, Santa Barbara, and Y&R favorite, Eva LaRue (ex-Maria, ex- Margot, ex-Celeste) and her daughter, Kaya was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

James David Rogers, 58, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt for over a decade of threatening letters and phone calls about torture, rape and death to LaRue and her daughter.

Rogers had pleaded guilty in April to two counts of mailing threatening communications, one count of threats by interstate communications and two counts of stalking.  According to court documents, all of this began in March 2007 until Rogers eventually was arrested in November 2019.  At the beginning of his stalking spree, LaRue’s daughter, Kaya was only five-years-old.

According to Deadline, Eva gave a “tearful victim impact statement, telling the judge in L.A. federal court that she has undergone therapy since the harassment began in order to deal with feelings of fear and paranoia.”  She added, “We didn’t know if he would show up on our doorstep. We will think about him for a lifetime. The fear is with me forever.”

Photo: JPI

The judge has ordered Rogers to self surrender on October 12th to begin his sentence at a federal prison in Ohio.

Eva won a Daytime Emmy back in 2020 for her guest star turn on The Young and the Restless, and is best-known to primetime viewers for her role in CSI: Miami.

Share your thoughts on Eva and Kaya’s heartbreaking real-life experience via the comment section below.

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