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OLTL's Valentini and Carlivati on their new deal & what it mean for the future of OLTL!

Courtesy/JPI Studios

Courtesy/JPI Studios

TV Guide has the follow-up interview now online from their news item a few weeks back that broke the story that both One Life to Live’s, EP, Frank Valentini, and head writer, Ron Carlivati have been given new deals for the ABC network.  And while many are skeptical that just because the show runners contracts have been re-upped, that does not mean OLTL could not get canceled.

In this new feature, Valentini and Carlivati say it’s business as usual for New York’s solo remaining daytime drama.   Here are a few excerpts!

Carlivati on if his and Valentini’s contract renewal came with a mandate from ABC Daytime Chief, Brian Frons:  “It’s the same as always. We meet with Brian regularly and he always challenges me to look at certain aspects of the stories, to go deeper on some, to make certain stories more real for the audience. He’s always telling us not to lose sight of this or that. He’s very analytical and can look at a story and tell you where the flaws are. So that is the mandate he gives me going forward — to find the real emotion, to make the show relatable. I like a certain over-the-topness to stories. I like the bigness of our show. So I must find the balance to making the epic moments both relatable and soapy, so that we still have all those juicy scandals and the big secrets exploding.”

Valentini on the consistent play the cancellation of OLTL gets on message boards and bad press: “There’s nothing wrong with critiquing a show, or saying that a certain storyline didn’t work, or to be extremely passionate about not liking something, but to just tear a show down without any knowledge or any understanding of what’s really going on is hard to understand. Is it really worth it to say those things? A lot of information is disseminated through rumor and hearsay and it’s unfortunate because it affects a lot of people. Actors will come to me having a panic attack because it says on the internet that they’re getting fired — and it’s not true. It’s so upsetting.”

So what do you think?  Can One Life survive?  Are you liking the current stories?  Let us know.

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I have been watching OLTL since July 15, 1968. Yes, that is the day it first aired, my birthday and awaiting the arrival of my first born. I stopped watching the program for about nine years and went back like I never left in 2001. I surely hope you do not cancel this soap because of sentimental reasons, entertainment, and your ability to touch with the day to day happenings in our world today. Sometimes I want you to get on with the story, but I suppose intrigue is what sells. You’ve touched on race, religion, teenage problems and the gay rights movement. I can’t say that I was that enthused with the “Gay” storyline, but you did what you thought was right. I still stuck with you and I will continue to be a fan. Please don’t leave the airways. For the record, I stopped watching because my VCR broke and I worked days. Now that it is aired on Soapnet, I don’t hardly ever miss a beat.

Very nice story, I think you may be prove that the gay storyline may have done what it was suppose to. Sounds like you were at least open minded to be exposed to gay issues, sometimes that all it takes. I have been watching OLTL since 1981, and know that the resent gay storyline wasn’t the first. My mother also watched this show, so when i came out to her we certainly had some good reference points to refer to. The “Billy Douglas” storyline opened so much for her in understanding what high school life was like for me. I too, will watch this show as long as it is in production. All the soaps have done some much in trying to help people understand gay life style.

The two or should I say the three of them are out of touch with what fans want. They have failed in some many ways. When they fail they don’t learn from the mistakes. Gigi/Rex shoved down our throats. It failed. Fans hated them. Stacy the same thing and shoved down our throats. Failed again. Now the Ford family the same thing. They give nothing to Bo, Nora, Viki. Charlie, Clint and Dorian until now. Big question is will they let use down like they did in the mayor’s story last year? If they do it will be the last time I watch this show.

Kudos to Michael Logan for his OLTL interview. Logan’s been delivering all of these interviews recently. It seems like everytime the OLTL brass are interviewed, they mention how they feel abt the online feedback. Daytime fans can be a vicious group. And many soap blogs really go for the jugular. Daytime Confidential’s podcast w/ Logan had him sum up Y&R’s mess w/ a simple “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” LOL. I think it was really great how Logan asked their opinions on the soap press that keep generating news/rumors of OLTL being axed.

Thanks for drawing our attn. to this interview. I enjoyed it.

Hope RC and FV get the show back on track. Both are probably talented but it seems SOMETHING has stalled at OLTL lately. Not sure where all the blame lies, but it is pretty obvious the storylines are not up to par. I would have preferred to see a new head writer other than RC. He had his chance but has not been able to deliver enough for me to want him to stay on as head writer. Change in that direction is needed. Everyone bragged about RC’s knowledge of the show and its history. That should bode well for him, but since he choses to ignore history and rewrite it, and ignore character development, the show has suffered. A LOT. Dorian needs to wear a name tag at times so we recognize her. Her actions sometimes sound like she is reading the wrong lines.

ABC, consider giving RC a co-head writer. Maybe the new co-writer could get him to step up his game to really earn his keep. I was once a huge fan of his, still appreciate some of his stories, but recognize he is NOT cutting it any longer.

I have to say I have been enthralled with the current storylines and if there is one soap I can’t miss it is One Life to live. I can miss the others, but not this one. I have been watching it for nearly 27 years and it still keeps my attention. The actors, the veterans, the characters are wonderfully written. Please don’t let them cancel it. Why are the soaps being pulled? I mean, all this reality crap is taking over the tv and frankly I have no interest. I like fiction and stories that may not be something real. I have enough reality in life. The writers are to be commended on a fantastic job with writing and storytelling at it’s best..
A loyal fan

Guiding Light

Matt Bomer Reveals After Exiting ‘Guiding Light’ He Lost the Role of ‘Superman’ Due to His Sexuality

During the June 10th edition of the Hollywood Reporter Awards Chatter Podcast, former Guiding Light star, Matt Bomer (ex-Ben Reade) revealed the role that got away, and how his exit from the CBS soap opera was precipitated to accommodate his burgeoning movie career, only to have his sexuality wind up costing him the part.

Bomer was seemingly set to play the Man of Steel, Superman, in a motion picture version in the early 2000’s, and as he tells it to Scott Feinberg during the podcast, things went awry.

“I went in on a cattle call for Superman, and then it turned into a month-long audition experience where I was auditioning again and again and again, and flying out to New York and doing chemistry reads, an flying out to LA doing chemistry reads, flying back to New York, flying back to LA to do a screen-test,” recalled Bomer. “And it looked like I was the director’s choice for the role. This is a very early iteration of Superman, written by JJ Abrams called Superman Flyby and it never came to light.”

Photo: JPI

While Matt was going through the Superman audition process he was still under contract at Guiding Light. Bomer described how he was let go from the soap: “Concurrently on Guiding Light, there was a killer in town, and so I think they needed somebody to pin it all on someone. So, I think the executive producer very kindly wanted to free me up just in case this job came through and said, ‘Hey, you’re gonna be the killer. We’re writing you off the show. Go with my blessing.’ I guess, I basically got fired, but in a generous way.”

Photo: JPI

Bomer had good reason to believe he was on his way, and the role of Superman was his after he had signed a three picture deal with Warner Brothers. As to why the part of Superman never came to pass, Bomer believes it was due to his sexuality (Later, Matt would come out publicly in 2012).

During the podcast, Matt explained, “Yeah, that’s my understanding That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you. How and why and who I don’t know. But yeah, that’s my understanding.”

While Matt has not yet played Superman, he has done stellar work in major projects including: Fellow Travelers, Magic Mike, White CollarIn Time, The Normal Heart to name but a few.

What do you think of Guiding Light making Ben that killer in order to free up Bomer to leave the CBS soap to go and become a star in Hollywood and potentially play Superman, only for his sexuality to take the role away from him by the powers-that-be? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Jason George Returning to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Main Cast for Upcoming Season

Soap opera alum Jason George (ex-Michael Bourne, Sunset Beach) is rejoining Grey’s Anatomy as a series regular for its upcoming 21st season.

According to Deadline, Jason will reprise his signature role of Ben Warren. Previously, the actor played Ben since season 6 of the ABC medical drama. Later, George became a series regular for seasons 12-14 before departing to join the ‘Grey’s’ spinoff, Station 19.

With Station 19 now canceled, it paved the way for George to bring Ben back to Seattle Grey’s Sloan. Over the past seven years, Jason was a mainstay on the firefighter drama and would make appearances and crossover to “Grey’s’.  Both series are produced by Shondaland and ABC signature.

Photo: ABC

In story, the seventh season of Station 19 had Ben tapping leaning into his medical skills while questioning his future as a firefighter in light of his shoulder injury. Then, in the Station 19 series finale, Ben told Captain Herrera that he was going back to finish his surgical residency. The story all fits together because when Ben was a fifth year resident at Grey Sloan, he found a way to pursue his other dream as a firefighter without jeopardizing his chances to return to the hospital and medicine one day.

Photo: NBC

George was featured on NBC’s Sunset Beach from 1997-1999 as lifeguard Michael Bourne and his love interest, Vanessa was played by Sherri Saum (ex-Keri, One Life to Live) who is also the wife of the late Kamar de los Reyes (ex-Antonio, One Life to Live)

In a post on X, following the story of his rejoining Grey’s Anatomy, George posted a video with the music from “Welcome Back Kotter” and the words “Well … it WAS kind of hush-hush. But now it’s official. Where my scrubs at?”

So, glad to hear Jason George is returning as a series regular to Grey’s Anatomy? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Bryan Craig Teases ‘Who Could It Be’ in Response to General Hospital’s Returning Mystery Man

Since General Hospital’s executive producer, Frank Valentini dropped a major bombshell of what’s to come on the long-running daytime drama at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards, the guessing games have begun of just what former GH actor is returning to the cast this summer.

Speaking with ABC’s On The Red Carpet, as previously reported, Valentini shared, “A former cast member is coming back. And I think that the audience will go crazy for HIM.”

That has led to major online speculation that it could be anyone from: Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky), Greg Vaughn (ex-Lucky), Ted King (ex-Lorenzo Alcazar), Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer), and Bryan Craig (ex-Morgan) among others, that might be the gentlemen being referenced.

Photo: JPI

On Wednesday, responding to a post on the subject from Soap Opera Digest, Bryan Craig commented, “Who could it be ….”  Now, clearly he can just be having some fun with the situation to throw fans off-track, or he might be giving us a tease of what’s to come.

Before exiting GH, the actor won two Daytime Emmys for his performances as Morgan Corinthos in 2016 and 2017.  Craig appeared on GH from 2013-2016 and made a return in 2018. Since departing GH, Bryan has appeared most recently in Freeform’s Good Trouble and ABC’s Grand Hotel, plus several independent films.

The character of Morgan was killed-off the show when Olivia Jerome set a bomb that exploded in the car that Morgan got into, but was meant to kill Olivia’s brother Julian Jerome. Morgan’s death caused a huge split in the relationship of Carly and Sonny.

So, do you think Bryan Craig is just having fun with the audience, or do you think it’s possible he is the big return Frank Valentini is talking about? Comment below.

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