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New Primetime Soaps: Nashville and Red Widow Series Trailers Revealed at the ABC Upfronts!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Today it became official with the announcement at the ABC Upfront Presentations in New York which shows made into the network’s fall-lineup.  As we have previously reported, Nashville starring Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere and Jonathan Jackson is a go as is the mob “soap opera-esque” series,  Red Widow.

ABC debuted the series trailers, so we finally have something tangible to view along with all the hype.   And you can watch them after the jump!  But before you do,  here is the series info on Nashville:  Chart-topping Rayna James (Connie Britton) is a country legend who’s had a career any singer would envy, though lately her popularity is starting to wane. Fans still line up to get her autograph, but she’s not packing the arenas like she used to. Rayna’s record label thinks a concert tour, opening for up-and-comer Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), the young and sexy future of country music, is just what Rayna needs. But scheming Juliette can’t wait to steal Rayna’s spotlight. Sharing a stage with that disrespectful, untalented, little vixen is the last thing Rayna wants to do, which sets up a power struggle for popularity. Could the undiscovered songwriting talent of Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen) be the key to helping Rayna resurrect her career? Complicating matters, Rayna’s wealthy but estranged father, Lamar Hampton (Powers Boothe), is a powerful force in business, Tennessee politics, and the lives of his two grown daughters. His drive for power results in a scheme to back Rayna’s handsome husband, Teddy, in a run for Mayor of Nashville, against Rayna’s wishes. 

Courtesy/ABC

Nashville stars Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights,” “American Horror Story”) as Rayna, Hayden Panettiere (“Heroes”) as Juliette, Powers Boothe (“MacGruber,” “24”) as Lamar, Charles Esten (“Enlightened,” “Big Love”) as Deacon, Eric Close (“Chaos,” “Without a Trace”) as Teddy, Clare Bowen as Scarlett, Jonathan Jackson (“General Hospital”) as Avery, Sam Palladio as Gunnar and Robert Wisdom as Coleman.  Nashville was written by Callie Khouri (“Thelma & Louise”) who is an executive producer along with R.J. Cutler (“The September Issue,” “The War Room,” “Flip That House,” “A Perfect Candidate”) and Steve Buchanan. The pilot for “Nashville” was directed by R.J. Cutler. The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Gaylord Entertainment.

Here is the series info for Red Widow:  When Marta Walraven’s (Radha Mitchell) husband is brutally murdered, her first instinct is to protect her three young children. Her husband’s business partners – Irwin Petrova (Wil Traval), Marta’s scheming and untrustworthy brother, and Mike Tomlin (Lee Tergesen) — were involved in an illegal drug business deal with rival gangsters, and Marta’s husband paid the ultimate price. She already knows the violent world of organized crime; her father, Andrei Petrova (Rade Sherbedzija), and loyal bodyguard Luther (Luke Goss) are gangsters too. She and her sister Kat (Jaime Ray Newman) had always wished for a safer life without bloodshed and fear. For a while Marta lived happily as a stay at home housewife in San Marta’s cooperation, FBI Agent James Ramos (Mido Hamada) now promises justice.  Marta discovers a tenacity she never knew she had, and takes on the gangsters and the FBI to unveil the truth about her husband’s death. As she digs into this dark underworld, she’ll test her own strength, relying on her resourcefulness, determination and family ties like never before. To get out of this mob, she needs to beat the bad guys at their own deadly game.

Courtesy/ABC

Red Widow stars Radha Mitchell (“Melinda and Melinda,” “Silent Hill,” “Rogue,” “Henry Poll Is Here,” “The Children of Huang Shi,” “The Waiting City”) as Marta Walraven, Wil Traval (“Rescue Special Ops,” “Underbelly,” “All Saints”) as Irwin Petrova, Erin Moriarty (“One Life to Live”) as Natalie Walraven, Sterling Beaumon (“Arthur Newman, Golf Pro, “Clue”) as Gabriel Walraven, Lee Tergesen (“Army Wives”) as Mike Tomlin, Jakob Salvati as Boris Walraven, Mido Hamada as FBI Agent James Ramos, Luke Goss as Luther, Jaime Ray Newman (“Drop Dead Diva”) as Kat Petrova, Suleka Mathew (“Hawthorne”) as Dina Tomlin and Rade Serbedzija (“24”) as Andrei Petrova.

 

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Torrey
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Torrey

The only soap I’m interested in is OLTL, but being that ABC can’t seem to pull their heads out of their asses, it doesn’t look like I’ll be seeing it anytime soon. The whole Nashville thing sounds like ABC is trying to cash in with the whole thing that NBC is doing with Smash….I’ll pass.

Michael
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Michael

AMEN Torrey! OLTL was the best soap ever. Personally ABC can stick their entire network up their ass- I am done.

Susan M.
Guest
Susan M.

I agree with Torrey…………………OLTL is the only soap I am interested in also….But they will never bring it back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because they are such idiots & cancelled the best soap ever………………………..

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

Torrey, Michael, and Susan m, I agree with all of you.

Brian
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Brian

If ABC wants me to view any program other than “General Hospital”, they better get working on a re-vamped “One Life To Live” !!!

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

Hey Brian, that’s how I feel to because I can go till the ends of time and never watch abc/disney again except to watch general hospital.

Rodd
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Rodd

Not nearly as excited about theses shows as I was about Marc Cherry’s offering. I’ll have to wait and see the product in full before I make a final decision.

Heather
Guest
Heather

I’m very disappointed that Devious Maid got turned down. I was really hoping in seeing La Lucci. I think there must be some grudge between ABC and Marc Cherry and this is why the show wasn’t picked up.

I’m really not interested in Nashville. Jonathan Jackson belongs on GH, not on Nashville. I cannot believe that he’s wasting his time on primetime when GH is waiting for him. He should be happy that his daytime soap opera is still around when AMC and OLTL are now things of the past.

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

There is no way I will watch this or any other soap abc/disney thinks it can cram down my throat I don’t care who is going to be in it. I suggest that abc put back the soaps they killed in the daytime and stop trying to put the daytime soap stars on there so called prime time soaps, it doesn’t matter to me I will stick with my boycott and I am not alone in my cancelling out of abc/disney from my life.

MBmomof3
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MBmomof3

The only ABC show I will ever be interested in is GH. Unless they bring back OLTL.

Heather, I think the “grudge” ABC has against Marc Cherry is likely because of the lawsuit brought on by Nicolette Sheridan from Desperate Housewives. I’m sure ABC wasn’t happy about the negative publicity and possible financial loss due to Mr. Cherry’s actions, proven or not.

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

MBmomof3, You could be right about abc and Marc cherry. I guess there will be another trial, Its not over yet.

Mary
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Mary

I am not and never will be interested in any new programs that will be on ABC! I’m insulted by these attempts to win back soap fans with these so-called “primetime soaps”. General Hospital is the only program I will watch on this network unless and until AMC and OLTL are brought back in some form.

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

That,s what I say. Anyway abc/disney likes to tease you with a show then cancel it, Or do what they did with brothers and sisters, They could have left it alone, Or put it on earlier It was a good family show. I am also not happy that they canceled boston legal and v, I could think of a few more, I will never watch any of their programs either,When they killed my soaps they lost me as a viewer and I,m never coming back.

Alan
Guest
Alan

As someone who gravitates toward serialized story telling, I don’t either one of these shows looks like it will last more than a half dozen episodes. Based solely on these trailers, NASHVILLE looks like a mess of cliches about a middle-aged woman fighting to retain her place in a world that idolizes youth while RED WIDOW just looks all kinds of pretentious and boring.

I think ABC screwed up (again) by not picking up the Marc Cherry DEVIOUS MAIDS series, but then cancelling OLTL instead of GH shows that they aren’t the best in the decision making department…

Susan M.
Guest
Susan M.

I will never watch these crappy shows……………….These are suppose to heal our wounds for abc cancelling OLTL……..NO WAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christy
Guest
Christy

won’t be watching either show… not into country stuff and if I wanted to watch a soap-esque mob show, I’d watch… oh, what’s that show called?;-b oh yeah, the sonny & jason mob show.

I’d much rather watch Hayden Panettiere on One Life to Live! She was so cute… maybe Todd’s niece should stop in Port Chuck!

luca
Guest
luca

Any shows starring Connie Britton and Radha Mitchell, I’m in. I just hope it doesn’t disappoint.

All My Children

Pride Month Celebrating LGBTQ+ Soap Supercouples: Nuke, Kish, Otalia & WilSon … Which Stands the Test of Time?

June is Pride Month, the time when across the U.S and the world there are celebrations and commemorations to recognize all who identify as LGBTQ and their allies.

Daytime soap operas have had a rocky road when it comes to the representation of same-sex couples.  The soaps have been at one time leaders in portraying key social issues of our time, as well as treading lightly on other subjects, as to its concerns to ‘turn-off’ its core audiences.

When you look back at the groundbreaking first same-sex weddings, and the first gay kiss, the soaps have come far in some ways in their representations of gay characters, but there is always work to be done to serve and to shed light on the under-represented.

As we reflect back to the then and the now, which LGBTQ soap supercouple remains your favorite and had made a lasting impact? Let’s take a look at four duos who captivated many viewers.

Nuke  – Luke Snyder and Noah Mayer – As the World Turns

Van Hansis (Luke) and Jake Silbermann (Noah) were a key part of the evolution of, and representation of LGBTQ character on the soaps.  ‘Nuke’, as they were known as, became the first gay male soap couple to share an on-screen kiss back in 2007.  ATWT also became known as the first soap to depict a fully realized romantic male couple as an integral part of the show.  There was plenty of backlash along the way for the long-awaited kiss to happen, but when it did, the show moved forward to tell their love story.

Otalia – Olivia Spencer and Natalia Rivera Aitoro – Guiding Light

When Crystal Chappell (Olivia) and Jessica Leccia (Natalia) began to play the love story of Otalia, they had to show their affection by a kiss on the head, or holding hands.  It took quite some time for GL to move forward to have two women, two moms, no less, share a lip lock. The complicated love story featured Natalia being conflicted to face her true romantic feelings for Olivia, because of her value system and religions upbringing, and that made this all the more riveting and frustrating at the same time.  In the end, the rabid fan base for this duo was so great that Chappell wound up creating her own series, Venice, to honor and serve them, remaining one of the LGBTQ communities greatest allies.

Kish – Kyle Lewis and Oliver Fish – One Life to Live

In 2009, One Life to Live’s Kyle Lewis (Brett Claywell) was an out lab tech in Llanview, who back in college had a relationship with Officer Oliver Fish (Scott Evans).  It imploded when Oliver denied he was gay.  For years, Oliver remained in the closet, before finally coming out to himself and Kyle.

Kish had been a big success with the media and One Life’s gay audience. LGBTQ-advocacy groups honored the couple and the story.  However, Kish was cut short when the network felt that the data showed that the storyline was not resonating with the show’s core audience.

WilSon – Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis – Days of our Lives

Days of our Lives delivered daytime’s first-ever gay male wedding in 2014, between Will (then played by Guy Wilson) and Sonny (then played by Freddie Smith).

In an interview with EW, Days of our Lives executive producer, Ken Corday shared on the union, “Will and Sonny have been together for a while and it was the natural progression of their love story. We didn’t feel like there was anything we could or couldn’t do, we treated them like any other couple on the canvas and continued to grow their romance as such.”

In addition, the coming out story of Will Horton was critically praised and noteworthy for the performances of Chandler Massey, who won three Daytime Emmys for his work in the Outstanding Younger Actor category 2012, 2013 and 2014.  Freddie Smith also won in the same category in 2015.  Will has been played over the years by Chandler Massey and Guy Wilson, while Sonny has been portrayed by Freddie Smith and Zach Tinker.

There have been several other key LGBTQ couples throughout the course of daytime history including All My Children’s Bianca (Eden Riegel) and Reese (Tamara Braun). These two characters were involved in the first same-sex lesbian wedding on daytime. Problem was … Reese kissed Zach (Thorsten Kaye) before the wedding, making this infuriating for viewers at home.

Other notable LGBTQ couples through the years have included: Bianca and Maggie on All My Children, Mariah and Tessa of The Young and the Restless played bv Camryn Grimes and Cait Fairbanks, Maya and Rick on The Bold and the Beautiful, Lucas and Brad on General Hospital and others.

Which couple do you think has had the most lasting impact on the history of LGBTQ representation on daytime soap operas? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Nicholas Chavez and Tabyana Ali to ‘Sprina’ Shippers: “Thank You For Not Only Being Fans, But Turning into Family”

The hottest young duo on daytime drama these days belongs to General Hospital.  The couple known as ‘Sprina’ played by Nicholas Chavez (Spencer) and Tabyana Ali (Trina), is being given plenty of non-stop intrigue and drama and romance, much to the delight of their fans, who just can’t get enough of them.

In the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstands everywhere Friday, Chavez and Ali weigh-in on all the latest developments and recent airshows including: the reading of Victor’s will, what to do about Esme and baby Ace, the action-adventure scenes in ‘Greenland’ and the Haunted Star, and most notably, that emotional leap from Trina into Spencer’s arms when he turned up alive!

Ali told SOD on her preparation for the moment: “I did a couple of jumps and held a baby, and that was about it!”

Courtesy/ABC

Chavez added, “That is my favorite ‘Sprina’ scene, Spencer is walking toward Trina and Trina breaks into a full sprint towards him, jumps into his arms and they kiss.  I’ve always wanted to do a moment like that, you know what I mean?” Ali said, “I really loved that scene, too. It was just so fulfilling.”

When addressing what each of them would like to say to their lively and constant fan base, Tabyana expressed; “I would just say we love you, we appreciate you, thank you for all of your support and thank you for not only being fans, but turning into family.”

Nick added, “I co-sign all of that. Every single word.”

Photo: ABC

So, if you are a ‘Sprina” fan, what makes this couple so special and swoon-worthy for you? What do you hope happens next for Trina and Spencer in story? Let us know in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Marcus Learns He’s Not Trina’s Biological Father

On Wednesday’s episode of General Hospital, Trina (Tabyana Ali) opened the DNA test results that would conclude who is her actual bio-dad. Would it be the man who raised her, Taggert (Réal Andrews) or, the man she more recently has come to know, Curtis (Donnell Turner)?

At GH, Marcus, Curtis and Portia (Brook Kerr) gather to learn the results.  It turns out that Curtis is Trina’s biological father, not Marcus.

However, are these results, correct? Are DNA results ever correct on soaps? Did Selina Wu (Lydia Look) have something to do with switching these in favor of Curtis? Are we digging into this too much?

After the revelation, Trina tells Curtis. they will need to take some time need to figure out their relationship.  Trina makes it clear she’s not looking for a replacement father, and hopes he can understand and accept that.  Curtis promises he will let Trina take the lead on things.

Meanwhile, Taggert, who promised Trina no matter what happens that nothing will change between them, decides to take off and breaks down in the elevator.  Marcus is devastated and in tears, and is left using the elevator as a punching bag for his fists.

You can watch the final moments of the scene, featuring a heart-tugging performance by Réal Andrews below.

Now let us know, are you glad Trina’s bio-dad turned out to be Curtis and not Marcus … or were you hoping it would turn out the other way around? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

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