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OLTL's Erika Slezak chats on her 40th Anniversary homage episode & more!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

It is hard to believe, but come this March 17th Erika Slezak will have played the indomitable Viki Lord Gordon Riley Burke Riley Buchanan Buchanan Carpenter Davidson Banks for 40 years on One Life to Live. And, as the centerpiece of Llanview, the series is planning a very special homage to Erika and Viki on April 26th!

TV Guide spoke to Erika Slezak to get her thoughts on the upcoming episode, working on soaps for decades, OLTL’s cancellations rumors, the addition of Kim Zimmer to the mix in Llanview, and the men in Viki’s life.  Here are a few excerpts below:

Slezak on the scoop on the 40th Anniversary episode: “I haven’t seen the script yet but I think it’s going to include a lot of me. [Laughs] No flashbacks or anything. I think they’re going to dredge up a lot of what’s going on in Viki’s life right now and how she’s dealing with it. When Frank said, “We’re writing a show for you,” I was so touched I started to cry. It’s so sweet. But I was kind of hoping it would all go by unnoticed.”

Slezak on the men in Viki’s life: “I’ve been fortunate in that they’ve given me partners who were willing to share. Not every actor is unselfish. A lot of them are very selfish indeed and it’s always all about them. Fortunately, I’ve never had that kind of guy. Even Clint Ritchie (Clint), who wasn’t necessarily the best actor in the world, was so wonderfully natural and pure and touching that we made a great pair. They used to call us The Cowboy and the Lady. I’m not saying Clint was a bad actor. He was a real-life cowboy. He wasn’t used to acting, and television. But we found something that worked. Viki brought out a sweetness in him.”

Slezak on if it was true that Robin Strasser was indeed freaked that Kim Zimmer was rejoining OLTL: “Kim coming back to the show was a freakin’ brilliant opportunity. Robin was indeed concerned. She came to me and said, “Erika, I just don’t know about this.” But I told her this could only be good for our characters and the show. Bringing back Echo delved into our history and brought up all that old animosity. It’s just fabulous! And Kim is such a joy.”

So now we ask, “What is your favorite Viki moment from the past 40 years?”  Let us know.

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I am happy they are doing an episode for her. She is the heart of the show. My neice used to say at 2:00 every day…”it is time for the Viki show”.

Ms. Slezak is a class act…a gracious lady and a brilliant actress. Happy anniversary to her! I hope she and OLTL enjoy 40 more years of success!

Miss Erika is the greatest! 🙂

I liked it when she told Clint that Cord Roberts was his son. Not to mention that Natalie was Jessica’s twin sister and also her daughter. Plus the way that she stood up to Roxy when she started to trash Natalie . That was completely awesome. But then riding into save Natalie’s life against her own father. Now that says something about a mother’s love. Natalie’s and Viki’s love has truly evolved. Plus , the way that she adores Rex . Even though , she didn’t know anything about him. Now, finding out that Rex is actually biologically Clint’s and Echo’s son , she doesn’t seem to care. Natalie is still protective of him. And loves him . All and all, Viki will do anything to protect and be there for her children.

Favorite Viki moment? Gosh, there are too many to even begin to count! LOL One of my first memories of Viki actually was back in 1985 when she turned into Niki Smith on the witness stand at Tina’s trial for the murder of Harry O’ Neill. I remember just being mesmerized by the whole thing!! And shouting at the TV “Leave her alone! She’s not Viki. She’s Niki!” LOL From that moment on I was a HUGE Viki and Erika Slezak fan. Viki going to heaven, Gabrielle Medina leading Viki into Eterna and Viki remembering more about Eterna, Viki going back to 1888 in time to stop Clint’s wedding to Miss Ginny, and the stroke storyline are also all favorites of mine. And of course anytime she is Niki Smith or pretending to be Niki it is freakin’ hilarious!! And I love all of her alters! So, congratulations Ms. Slezak on 40 years! Here’s to 40 more (and more Emmy’s)!! You deserve it all!

General Hospital

Cameron Mathison Previews New Game Show ‘Beat The Bridge’ (Promo)

As previously reported, Cameron Mathison (Drew, General Hospital) will be seen doing double duty this summer when he premieres in June as the host of Game Show Network’s Beat The Bridge.

Now, while Cameron will be the host with the most, that doesn’t mean he will stop playing GH’s Drew.  In fact, Mathison taped the game show in 2023, so it will now air for the first time in 2024.

Taking to his Instagram this week, Cameron shared his enthusiasm and some new hosting snaps, sharing, “Our newest game show host reporting for duty😎 Head over to the Game Show Network YouTube channel for your first look at the show and don’t miss Beat The Bridge premiering this June! I can’t wait for you guys to see this!”

Photo: GSN

In Beat The Bridge, an enormous interactive bridge dares players to cross by stepping on the right answers to challenging trivia questions. As they play, each steps forward and puts money in their team’s bank, with bonus money for each successful crossing. Here’s the catch: the team gets to keep the money only if it can “beat the bridge” by returning one of its players back across before time expires.

Photo: ABC

Meanwhile, on GH, Drew and Nina (Cynthia Watros) recently had hate-sex. Do you think its a one-time deal? Where will Drew’s story take him next under new head writers, Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte? Stay tuned.

Now below, check out the first promo for Beat The Bridge from the Game Show Network with you host, Cameron Mathison.  Then, let us know, will you be checking out the game this summer? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

 

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Breaking News

Kim Kardashian, Emma Roberts and Marlene King Land ‘Calabasas’, a Soap in the Vein of the ‘O.C’ and ‘Beverly Hills 90210’, at Netflix

There has been lot of soapy projects coming to life and in the works of late, and now comes word that Kim Kardashian is executive producing a new series in development for Netflix called Calabasas.

After a bidding war last week, it looks like Netflix cemented the development deal from Kim, and her producing partners American Horror Story co-star Emma Roberts (pictured below) and Pretty Little Liars creators Marlene King and Alexandra Milchan.

The concept of Calabasas is based on the book If You Lived Here You’d Be Famous By Now by Via Bleidner.  King set to write the adaptation and will serve as the series showrunner.

Photo: JPI

According to Deadline, Calabasas is said to be in the vein of primetime young teen and young adult soaps the O.C. and Beverly Hills 90210. The story follows “Via, a 16-year-old sheltered Midwestern Catholic school girl whose world is turned upside down when her family moves and she’s forced to transfer to the fast world of Calabasas High where nothing is as it appears and where everyone is trying to be someone else. It’s a place where dreams come true … but not without complications and sometimes unforeseen consequences.”

Photo: Hulu

As fans of the Kardashians know, Kim and her family made the town of Calabasas a household and worldwide name. Kim being attached to this project helped make its sale. This marks her fourth project to sell since the writers and actors strikes concluded at the end of last summer.

So, would you be interested to see a teen soap called ‘Calabasas’ on Netflix from Kim and company? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Ellen Travolta Makes Another Return to General Hospital

If General Hospital’s Chase (Josh Swickard) and Brook Lynn’s (Amanda Setton) nuptials are on, you didn’t think Grandma Gloria Cerullo would miss out on the festivities, now did you?

Casting news from Soap Opera Digest reveals that Ellen Travolta is back taping scenes that will air the week of May 13th on the ABC daytime drama series.  When viewers learned that Carmine Cerullo, was also on his way back to Port Charles, now in the face and body of actor George Russo, it only made sense that Grandma Gloria would join Grandpa Cerullo. Look for them both mid-May.

As most people know, Ellen is the older sister to John Travolta. She first make appearances as Gloria back on GH in the mid-90s. Most recently, she returned to the Quartermaine mansion to meet up with daughter, Lois (Rena Sofer) and granddaughter Brook Lynn for Thanksgiving in Port Charles in 2023.  Michael Fairman TV interviewed Rena Sofer and Amanda Setton late last year where they shared what it had been liking working with Ellen, who remains very close to Sofer in real-life.

Photo: JPI

Amanda shared: “We fell in love immediately. What’s crazy is my maternal grandmother was Grandma Gloria. I had her till I was 30 and we were so close. She was really like a second mom to me. So, when I got this script and I’m reading “Grandma Gloria”, it was so bizarre. And then in meeting Ellen, she looks like my grandma – same haircut, same high cheekbones. It really did feel like I had a few days with my grandma. It was very, very special for me. Ellen is sweet, prepared, professional, talented and funny to boot. So, it was one of the best weeks I’ve had at work. I hope she comes back. My fingers are crossed.”

Photo: ABC

Now, we can’t imagine Brook Lynn and Chase’s wedding day to be smooth sailing, in fact, expect just the opposite, but could it be Grandma Gloria who is ultimately the hero or the calming voice of reason for any pre-wedding jitters? Stay tuned.

So, glad to know that Ellen Travolta will be back for Brook Lynn and Chase’s big day? Comment below.

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