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Miles Gaston Villanueva On Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders: "We Are All Really Grateful To Be Able To Give A Voice To Not Only The Menendez Brothers, But Other People Who Have Suffered Abuse Whether It Be Sexual, Emotional, or Psychological"

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Photo: Paley Center For Media

One of the most highly-anticipated new shows on the fall line-up is NBC‘s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders. 

The eight-episode season tells the brothers side of the story and the dramatization of the trial of Lyle and Erik who were convicted in 1996 for the murder of their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez. The boys, who were defended by then attorney Leslie Abramson, were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1996.

While Lyle and Erik committed the crime, they were both the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of their parents, which is detailed in this harrowing and powerful series. The point of contention of the real-life story back in the 90’s was were the boys telling the truth about their abuse, or not. As Dick Wolf, the executive producer of the series said during the Paley Center for Media Panel spotlighting the show, “It’s not the ‘who’, at the end of the eight hours, you’re going to really understand the ‘why.’”

On-Air On-Soaps caught up on the red carpet with former Y&R star, Miles Gaston Villanueva (Ex-Luca Santori) who plays Lyle Menendez on the upcoming drama series, as well as his on-screen younger brother, Gus Halper, who plays Erik Menendez at the Paley Center for Media Fall Preview of the series last week.  Here’s what they shared of their experience thus far (as they are currently taping the last few episodes of the season), and their thoughts on inhabiting the lives of these troubled young men, and what they believe to be the truth of what happened behind close doors in the Menendez family.

MILES: Honestly, if I could do this role again in maybe 5 or 10 years, maybe I could do it more justice, but it’s one of the hardest and most difficult tasks to capture and to try to put yourself in their shoes. I know personally, Gus brought me back to a place of authenticity and a darkness, and a really scary truth, that is maybe something that I can’t really fathom, or are to afraid to get into.  This show has been the most challenging thing we both have done.

Photo: Paley Center For Media

GUS:  Far and away, this is the most challenging thing I have done. I feel very confident in what I believe is the truth of what happened.

MILES:  Yes, undeniably and daily.  We have a whole crew of people, and a whole group of people who believe it too, and if they are not saying it or spouting it out, they know the story we are telling.  We are bonding with our family members in the show, and in the production. We are all really grateful to be able to give a voice to not only the Menendez brothers, but other people who have suffered abuse whether it be sexual, emotional, or psychological.

GUS:  There are certain days (during the shooting process) where you get something important, and you’re doing well, and those days make it all worth it.

MILES: I know I have to do turn to Gus and he gives me a reality check with this story.  In the audition process, I got to read with Gus.  I was really fortunate to have read with him, and I know he was a huge reason why I booked this part, because our bond was pretty immediate and deep.

Later inside the panel, when asked if Miles would want to ever meet the man he is portraying, Lyle Menendez, he answered: “That’s a hard question.  I’m just wondering if they (the brothers) wonder how each other is doing.  They have not seen each other in over 2o-some-odd years.  We found out they play chess through the mail.  I have brothers in real life, and Gus is like a brother, and so the idea that while yes, they committed this crime and that was wrong, to not being able to see your brother for decades is just wild to me.  To ask another human being: ‘How are you doing now?’ ‘How is life now?’ It would be insightful, and at the same time really heartbreaking.”‘

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders premieres Tuesday, September 26th at 10PMEST/9PMCST.

So, will you be watching the series? Think you know all the details of the Menendez Murders? Think again! This show promises to rip the lid off the story, and it should be must-see TV. Comment below!

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James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

I do want to catch this show. Don’t know if it will be as highly rated as a couple of other installments in the Law and order franchise but i do think it will be good for me.


Initially, I wasn’t interested, having “lived” through all the coverage when it happened. But the more I read about it, the more interested I am. It’s on my schedule for the new season & I will definitely be watching.


Love “Law and Order SVU” and “Criminal Intent” (reruns)… much so that I can watch and rewatch reruns over and over.
I will try to watch, albeit I have an antipathy for Villanuema. Not a fan……We shall see, James .


Was the abuse ever really proven?

So he wants to give a voice to killers. Okay. I wont’ be watching.


No, the abuse is still in question. And their actions following the murders didn’t help their claims of abuse.


Consider the source! We have had six thousand movies made of thes killers enough already!


Does anyone agree that there is a bigger problem going on here, especially when you take a look at the fall TV schedule? They’re rehashing EVERYTHING, good or bad, interesting or (usually) not. Scott Peterson specials, live interviews with that creepy Son of Sam, endless noise about O.J. or that poor Jon-Benet Ramsey. Isn’t there anything else they can come up with? Inane reality shows about people I hope I never meet or live next to; Navy Seals; conspiracy-driven maze-plots with no redeeming characters; ever more grisly crime dramas that exploit violence toward women under the guise of realism? And they stand there in shock when a quality drama about interesting people like THIS IS US becomes a hit? Maybe they should ask any one of US what we’d like to see…viewers’ ideas could hardly be any worse.


They can’t seem to come up with new ideas. I read “Miami Vice” will be redone. Why? The original was good, the 2.0 version probably won’t be.


Soaphound…oh, I agree. To me, NOTHING out there on the TV HORIZON is looking new or fresh. Beyond sad.

Have a good one.


Totally agree with your comment Soaphound. I recently found a fun time out from all of the rehashed crap on tv, as well as the daily negative news. It’s reruns of “Murder She Wrote.” Each one is a new adventure in who will be guest stars per episode which include many from our favorite soaps…like John McCook, Eric Braeden, Genie Francis, Judith Chapman, and “Yes” even Constance Towers/Helena. Today it was George Clooney. Probably not for su, though.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Hmmmm, got you–I see what you mean.

Big Brother

Julie Chen Says Goodbye To THE TALK Via Video Message

As anticipated on Tuesday, Julie Chen officially and publicly exited The Talk.  Through a videotaped message to her co-hosts, viewers and staff and behind the scene personnel, Chen wrapped-up her run.

While Chen has bowed out of The Talk following her husband Les Moonves’ removal from CBS following allegations of sexual misconduct, she will continue on through the end of this season as the host of the reality-competition series, Big Brother.

On The Talk, Eve tossed to Chen’s videotaped exit message which the ladies of the panel also saw for the first time during the live broadcast:

Here is what Julie shared: “I have been at THE TALK since the day it started 9 years ago, and the cast, crew and staff have become family to me over the years. But right now, I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son, so I’ve decided to leave THE TALK. I want to thank everyone at the show for the wonderful years together. I will always, always cherish the memories we shared. Most important, I want to thank you, the viewers, for allowing me into your home every day. It was a privilege that I will forever be grateful for. To everyone behind the scenes, I send you my love. I will miss you all very, very much. To Eve: you’re the newest one at the table, but I feel like I’ve known you forever. You are even more beautiful inside than you are on the outside, if that’s even possible, because, you know I think you are flawless. Sheryl, thank you for being the perfect go-to partner for the last 7 years. I open, you close, and you always bring down the house. We called ourselves “The Book Ends,” remember? And we always laughed when we said it to each other. Your wit, and timing, and humor, and compassion, and intelligence is simply unparalleled. You are incredible. Carrie Ann (Inaba), I don’t know, but in my opinion, you look awful good sitting in that chair, my Asian sister. I’m just saying! And finally, to Sara and Sharon: we’ve been together since day one at THE TALK! I’ve spent every day with you both. I will always treasure our friendship, the great parenting advice from both of you, and the memories and laughs and all the private jokes that the three of us have shared. We are the original three musketeers. I love you all, and I know this show, and the sisterhood it stands for, will live on for many, many, many more years to come. You ladies got this, and I could not be more proud to call you my friends. I love you.”

Following the video, Sara Gilbert, creator and co-host of The Talk  thanked Chen for being a major part of the series ongoing success, as Sheryl Underwood looked on in tears.

Watch Julie’s goodbye below.  Then let us know what you thought of the sentiments shared by her via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

70th Primetime Emmys: Game Of Thrones, Assassination Of Gianni Versace, ‘Mrs. Maisel’, Henry Winkler Are Night’s Big Winners

Last night in Los Angeles, the 70th Primetime Emmys were handed out.  The event featured several surprise winners, but without little drama throughout its 3-hour telecast that was hosted by Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che.

The awards kicked-off though finally honoring Henry Winkler, winning his first ever Primetime Emmy for his performance as Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for HBO’s Barry.

Winkler had previously won two Daytime Emmys.  First in 1995 for the Outstanding Children’s Special, CBS Schoolbreak special, All The Kids Do It, and in 2005 winning as Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for Clifford’s Puppy Days.

The former Fonz of Happy Days reacted on stage to his first primetime award victory exclaiming: “Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Oh, my god!

As the audience gave him a standing ovation Winkler added: “I wrote this 43 years ago.  Skip Brittenham (entertainment lawyer) said to me a long time ago: ‘If you stay at the table long enough, the chips come to you.’ And tonight, I got to clear the table.”

In another memorable moment, Glenn Weiss, who won for Outstanding Direction of a Special for “The Oscars” took his turn at the podium by honoring his late mother (she died two weeks ago) by proposing to his longtime girlfriend Jan Svendsen, on live television.

As Jan sat in the audience, Weiss began during his acceptance speech: “Jan, you are the sunshine in my life. And mom was right, don’t ever let go of your sunshine. You wonder why I don’t like to call you my girlfriend? Because I want to call you my wife.”  With that, walking to the stage with the roar of the crowd behind her was Svendsen as Weiss continued and pulled out a ring! “This is the ring that my dad put on my mom’s finger 67 years ago. And to my sisters and brothers, I didn’t swipe it. Dad knows I have it, O.K.?”   Jan said, “yes”, and the Emmy audience was thrilled.

As to the night’s big winners; check out the winner’s list below to see how your favorite nominated actors and programs fared!

Then let us know in the comment section below, who you were glad took home the gold and who you thought was robbed? As well, what did you think of the telecast? Thumbs down or thumbs up?


Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Henry Winkler – Barry — WINNER

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Bill Hader – Barry

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie
Merritt Wever – Godless

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie
Jeff Daniels – Godless 

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie
Regina King – Seven Seconds 

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie
Darren Criss – The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones 

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Thandie Newton – Westworld

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Matthew Rhys – The Americans 

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Claire Foy – The Crown 

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
RuPaul’s Drag Race 

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
Saturday Night Live 

Outstanding Variety Talk Series
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Outstanding Limited Series
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 

Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones 

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Big Brother

Julie Chen To Step Down From ‘The Talk’

As of Monday night, the only hosting gig that Julie Chen has resumed since her husband, Les Moonves was ousted as CBS Chairman is Big Brother on CBS.

Chen had yet to return to her seat at the table as the anchor of the Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, The Talk.

Moonves has been accused of sexual misconduct with new allegations surfacing in the New Yorker as recent as just the other week.

Tonight, Page Six is reporting that Julie is walking away from The Talk and will resign.

CNN is also reporting that Chen has made the decision and it is effective immediately and that she will address her decision through a videotaped message to viewers on Tuesday’s episode of The Talk

The competition in the daytime talk space, the ladies of The View, voiced that they think there is no way for Chen to return to the panel of The Talk, especially since the CBS series addresses the hot social topics of the day and the #MeToo movement which is so much of our culture these days,

The only statement Chen has made on the new allegations against Moonves, is that she is standing by him when she signed off on a recent episode of Big Brother saying:  “I’m Julie Chen Moonves. Good Night.”

So, do you think Julie stepping down from The Talk is the right choice?  Is she in no-win situation? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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