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REVIEW: The Premiere Episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live!

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

On Tuesday night, April 23rd at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU in New York City, the stars, executives, press, and fans, converged for the highly anticipated premiere of the return of the iconic soaps, All My Children and One Life to Live.  After being swiftly axed off the ABC Daytime canvas in 2011, this was a night of smiles, tears, and community for everyone who has worked so tirelessly to resurrect the shows. From the fans “never say die” attitude and spirit, to Prospect Park’s relentless efforts to revive the shows under adversity, but with a passion not often seen in the soap genre.

The night began with moving speeches from Prospect Park’s Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, to One Life to Live’s executive producer, Jennifer Pepperman, to All My Children’s EP, Ginger Smith.  It was Smith who had the honors to say to the audience, “And now All My Children!” And with that, and to excited applause, we all were ready for the unveiling of the much talked about revival of Pine Valley.  After the first episode of AMC was unveiled, next came the premiere episode of One Life to Live.

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

So let’s break this down with our thoughts and addressing yours, the fans, concerns.  I can tell you, not only was I in need of my much need hankies, but I, along with several AMC and OLTL cast members, clapped and cheered throughout the episodes seeing beloved faces we have all missed for over a year and half from our daily soap viewing habits.

This will be a SPOILER FREE review.  I will not divulge any major plot points or surprises, Needless to say, there are some jaw-droppers! And I mean that in the best possible way!

The Look and Feel:  Both shows are two very distinct shows.  They are unique on to themselves.   If there were any concerns about production values, stop right there! The shows look fully realized in HD.  Sets are reminiscent of the old AMC and OLTL but reinvigorated as if they had a much-needed face-lift.  When shooting exterior scenes, no Guiding Light here! (And you guys and gals know what I mean!). They are fresh and work within the framework of the storytelling.  When you watch AMC, you get the sense of family, Pine Valley, relationships, the new kids and the veterans we have come to love.  When you watch OLTL, you get the sense of the dark storytelling that always made this show that sleeper hit, intense, controversial, with probably one of, if not, the best core cast in daytime.  It’s all there.  One Life’s first episode which takes place at the opening night of Club Shelter, was so well-done it could have been a the first episode of a cable primetime dramatic series.  You got the feeling of a kick-off, a brand new start!  Music is used in both soaps to invigorate the shows, and it does.

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

The Use of New Young Characters vs. The Use of Veteran Characters:  So I am sure many of you are expecting that your favorite core characters might be kicked to the curb?  Not so, I am happy to reportAll My Children as you know is the show that has more young characters that were either SORAS’d, or who had not been seen before.  But what AMC did in the premiere was anchor them to the vets.  You saw Rob Scott Wilson as Pete Corlandt with his mother, Opal played by Jill Larson before he bumped into new gal, Celia played by Jordan Lane Price.  And then we saw Eric Nelsen’s AJ Chandler with Denyse Tontz’s Miranda Montgomery in a scene with Julia Barr and David Canary as Brooke and Adam.    Now I am telling you here … the breakout new star of the series is poised to be Eric Nelsen! And Rob Scott Wilson also brought some heart to his role. But that being said, Jesse and Angie are BACK! And they have MAJOR story!

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Over at One Life to Live, while at first it may be jarring to some to see a grown up Matthew Buchanan (Robert Gorrie) and Destiny Evans (Laura Harrier) it’s OK, because Bo and Nora (Robert S. Woods and Hillary B. Smith) are there concerned for Matthew.  The younger set is a major component to the club opening at Shelter, but it also serves as a backdrop for the converging of many Llanview favorites whose issues are overwhelming them including:  Melissa Archer’s Natalie and Florencia Lozano’s Tea Delgado.

The Opening Title Sequences:  OMG! One Life to Live’s almost had us reach for the hankies!  You will see!  It’s touching seeing those familiar couples from Llanview dancing!  For All My Children, it went the much more traditional soap route with the use of chyroned character names.  Actor names were shown at the end of the episodes.

The Storylines:  All My Children jumps five years ahead in story, but nothing is forgotten! That fatal night when JR fired the gun is a major plot point of the opening. We just get hints at who could have been shot, and it plays out throughout.  The ABC finale is honored and it helps kick-off the story of where the characters are now in their lives. There is much, I mean much, mystery involved, and it does focus on the core characters.  There were several cliffhanger moments in the opener and it certainly did not feel like some short 30-minute soap with no content.  It felt full and realized and every scene and moment had a purpose.

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

For One Life to Live, we couldn’t have been more pleased, because Viki and Clint were Viki and Clint, Bo and Nora were as you would expect and scene stealers- Robin Strasser and Tuc Watkins, each in their own right, stole the episode!  Tuc had one of the funniest and one of the most touching moments as David in the premiere and Robin Strasser … there are no words.   Dorian is right as you imagined she would be, and her feud with Viki is going to bust wide open.  As for Corbin Bleu’s Jeffrey King, he is endearing and intriguing, so no worries there. But there is a danger, sexual energy abound, lust and a mystery in the premiere episode.  It felt raw and real, and not manufactured.  It was if the show got grittier, but it still served the through line of One Life.  But I will tell you right now, you will need hankies again, when you see Florencia Lozano’s opening scene as Tea! Give this woman an Emmy already! And seeing Roger Howarth again back in Llanview as Todd Manning mixing it up with Blair …  how cool!  Right?

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

Sexually graphic scenes and use of foul language – First off, I recall hearing not one cuss word in the opener of either soap.  So if there was one, it went by in a millisecond and did not impede or offend.  As far as the concerns of more sexual content – there are some moments in AMC that have much more sexual overtones then will have ever have seen on ABC’s version. But remember, online programming does not have the same standards and practices barriers.  On OLTL, you will see more skin and gyrating bodies dancing in a frenzy in the first episode, but it was part of the energy of the scene and the story.  I was not taken aback. It was a minute of, “Oh, OK! Now I get where they are going with this.”

There is so much more I want to tell you, but I can’t.  You need to tune in on Monday April 29to Hulu, HuluPlus and iTunes and begin the journey with millions of fans who fought for these shows and brought them back.   Is there a difference from the versions you knew before?  Yes!   Does that mean it won’t be as good?  Hell No!  I think you are going to be seduced, excited, and thrilled when you see Pine Valley and Llanview again in a more contemporized version and as the initial shows for The Online Network.  I am sure there will be much discussion in the days and weeks to come, but from my vantage point, and through my joy and tears, the shows you love are there waiting for you to come and check them out!

So now that you read my review, will you be watching on April 29th? You don’t want to miss it, and being part of soap opera history in the making!

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Denise
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Denise

Yes…definitely!!!

danicajolie
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danicajolie

OLTL is my show! I will definitely be watching it and the wonderful actors. I had given up on AMC before it ended because it just could not hold my attention…but I am going to be back and give it another try particularly to show my support to the soaps. Bring on the popcorn! This is going to be fun!

Avidreader72
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Avidreader72

Nice way to whet our appetites, Michael. Sounds like we are in for a real treat.

Jody
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Jody

Will be there with bells and whistles on Monday……..right smack at noon!

Joliefan Forever
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Joliefan Forever

That sounds Awesome I can not wait for these 4 days to be over with! Monday the 29th can not get her fast enough!
I will have my tissue ready!

Tina
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Tina

Heck yes!!

michele
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michele

So very excited for one life to live. I can not wait. What time does it start? Have my Hulu account all set up.

Troy Turner
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Troy Turner

First of all. we need to get traditional starting times out of our heads. Both shows will be AVAILABLE to watch at 12 pm edt, but you can watch them when YOU want to

Elyse
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Elyse

Most definitely.

Barb
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Barb

Thank you! I have been waiting for your review! LOL!! 4 more days but who is counting and I will have those tissues ready!!! Just cannot wait! Michael excellent overview!!! EXCELLENT! You never let us down! 🙂

heidi
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heidi

Well done Michael!!! Lovely review and thanks for not spoiling… just enticing us to watcha and I will be!!! Thanks Michael… thanks for covering many of our concerns and if you love them… I am sure we will too!!! Glad you are back!!!

Tali
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Tali

Hell Yes….can’t wait!!!!

Joe
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Joe

Having been one of the lucky few fans who had the opportunity to attend the Premier and see the episodes, I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Fairman!

If you don’t tune in and watch these shows, I sincerely believe you will be missing history in the making. If the folks over at All My Children and One Life to Live continue with this caliber, they will be turning the page into a new dynamic of serial drama, and might just put traditional television out of business!

Annick
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Annick

Yes…we are having a reboot launch luncheon:)…. Soo excited and cannot wait to see FL knock it out the park once again…Game on Apr 29th

Monica
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Monica

All I want to know is where the viewing parties are, because. I’m so ready for OLTL I can’t stand it!

clh
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clh

I was going to be watching anyway, but now I sooo can’t wait!! 04/29/13 can not come soon enough for me!!!

I was little concerned when I didn’t see Robin in the cast photo, so it’s a relief to know her and Tuc are front and center day one!

scott
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scott

Heck yah cant wait

Cheryl
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Cheryl

Sure will, and hoping to catch the shows at midnight!

jimh
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jimh

My old browser does not support hulu…but i guess me and my friends can read the storyline in Soap Opera Digest! I feel i wont be missing out on anything that way!

heidi
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heidi

Try your library… Jim. Most have headsets and you could go in and watch 3 or more episodes there at one time.

jimh
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jimh

I may eventually try one of our library locations but they are usually crowded on the days i get there and a very long wait. But if i here enough positive reviews from fans in the coming days it may be worth it, and ill give them a look! Thanks 4 the reply.

Derek
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Derek

You can also just download an updated browser off the internet. Or yes the library is another option.

heidi
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heidi

Sometimes your operating system does not support the later versions of browers… like XP stops at IE 8.

Tammy Kreiss
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Tammy Kreiss

Try itunes on Fridays for the weekly recap show. If you can’t update your browser for none of my business, the recap show might be best for you.

Rodd
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Rodd

Will absolutely be watching. In fact, I will become a new AMC fan just to support the shows, the actors, production teams, PP,and most importantly the core fans who kept fighting to bring these shows back to us. Can’t wait!!!

C
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C

Great review, can’t wait for Monday!

susan M.
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susan M.

I will be watching! I have been waiting for my favorite soap to come back & that Is OLTL & my second favorite is AMC…. Saw the view today only because I wanted to the soap stars from OLTL (VikI) & AMC(David & Zach)… It was a short interview and they showed a clip from OLTL with Viki & Clint and Viki admiring her engagement ring from Clint. Viki saying how beautiful the ring is and Clint saying,we have been together so long ,I think I know what you like. There will be a big blow-up between Viki & Dorian…Some… Read more »

mgb357
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mgb357

cant wait – gonna be online at midnight – sunday!!!

i feel like i’m going to be overwhelmed seeing my OLTL family once again… happy tears!

Anthony
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Anthony

I am excited about the rebirth of OLTL and will be happy to watch the veterans and the newbies create more and more layers to life in Llanview.

rjm118
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rjm118

I never watched AMC but will to support these new formats, CANNOT WAIT for OLTL.

rebecca
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rebecca

I’m absolutely looking forward to the return of OLTL…but I think it’s going to take a while to get used to the newer, updated look, feel…replaced characters, etc. I think one of three things will happen:

I will either love it as much as before without skipping a beat…

I may love it again…but almost as if it were an entirely new show…

Or I won’t be able to get back into it it because of my previous expectations.

It’s going to be interesting…

Troy Turner
Guest
Troy Turner

Rebecca,

Yours is probably a very honest reaction, so I can’t/won’t argue with you. But, I will give you (and everyone) some advice. If these shows fail under the weight of unrealistic expectations, there will be NO getting them back-and fans will have noone but themselves to blame. I urge people still on the fence to give these shows several weeks of a fair hearing-everyone connected deserves that much. There’s not too many second chances given in life-we need to make this one count

rebecca
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rebecca

Troy,

I agree with you. I was beyond disappointed when the show was canceled…I was/am thrilled that it’s back in some shape/form…and I have every intention of tuning in…for my own sake…LOL…and of course for the genre.

But, as with any medium… TV, film, music…whether I continue to be a fan and spend my valuable time turing in will depend on whether I enjoy it…which is just as it would have been if it were still on ABC TV.

Let’s hope for fans and actors/crew/Propect Park alike…that the shows rock!

Len
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Len

This is a GREAT review! I can’t wait to see them on Monday!

Megan
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Megan

Cannot wait!!!!

Nancy
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Nancy

OMG I can hardly wait. Thank goodness no one will see me crying my eyes out just like I did for 3 months like I did when they were cancelled. Thanks PP. I really mean it. You have me as a long time fan.

Ricky Ortega
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Ricky Ortega

Awesome Michael! Cannot wait to view the first episode of AMC!!!!!

Johnny
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Johnny

Should be interesting to watch…I will be watching on Hulu Plus on my TV, because I look at a computer enough at work. I don’t mind if it’s not exactly like the old “All My Children” on ABC-TV because times change, people change, and the characters of
Pine Valley have changed as well.

Laurie
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Laurie

Thank you for your review. I was already excited for the return of Llanview, but you have made me even more so, if that’s even possible. And I’m ecstatic to hear that my favorites, Todd and Blair, are mixing it up right out of the gate.

Mary Fergen
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Mary Fergen

Hell, yeah, I’ll be watching, and I can’t wait! I hope that anyone who once watched these shows, or love soaps in general, will be watching too. We need to make these ground-breaking programs a success!

Cathy
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Cathy

Sounds amazing! Cannot wait to see what these shows will do now that they are out from under ABC! Looking forward to compelling, amazing storytelling that is character-driven. Especially looking forward to the continuing saga of Todd & Blair!! FINALLY! What ABC tried to stifle and destroy, PP will resurrect and nurture. 🙂

blake
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blake

I can’t wait to see these. I wonder if they premiere after a certain time online each day.

Tali
Guest
Tali

Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan) says they’ll be available for viewing on Hulu @ 4 a.m. CST on the 29th and then each day after. HULU is FREE!!!

blake
Guest
blake

Great thanks!

Mo
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Mo

Sounds like some great shows. I’m interested to watch and I’ve never watched AMC and haven’t watched OLTL in years. Good luck!

Bruce
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Bruce

I was in the audience for the Premieres this past Tuesday night and I LOVED both episodes. AMC did well in continuing the story without of course revealing a lot of specific information (which will keep fans wondering and coming back for more). I’m not too fond of the OLTL opening sequence but it definitely doesn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the show itself! …oh yea…and (re: OLTL) in terms of THAT twist (You know what I’m talking about) SPEECHLESS!!! btw, the S-bomb was dropped in both shows, once in AMC and a few times (by the same… Read more »

Tammy Kreiss
Guest
Tammy Kreiss

I along with Michael Fairman did not hear the S bomb, & I went Tue & Th!

El Rizzo
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El Rizzo

Hell YAY I’ll be watching!!! I can’t wait!!!

GV
Guest
GV

Thank you so much for the wonderful review of both shows! I am so excited already and your review has only added to that! So happy to have the shows back, I have missed watching them so much.

Amanda
Guest
Amanda

Great review. So jealous you have seen them. And thank you, btw, for your great reporting. I really just discovered this site and love it.

David
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David

Encouraging words indeed Michael. Can’t wait to watch the pair of them on Monday.

Rose S
Guest
Rose S

I have it marked on EVERY Calander in my house and a post it on my computer screen, wouldn’t miss it for the world and I am so excited and happy that these two shows are back!!!!!

Gillian
Guest
Gillian

Will the online soaps be eligible for daytime Emmy nominations next year, Michael?

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

I certainly hope so! Would love to see Erika Slezak get her record of most Emmy wins back from Anthony Geary!

Elhu
Guest
Elhu

I cannot wait and will definitely be watching both shows!!!!!

CC
Guest
CC

Great news!

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Hate to look a gift horse in the mouth but I feel “All My Children” is making a major mistake with the five-year time jump. There was so much drama that could have ensued if they had picked up immediately from when the show went off the air in September of 2011.

As for “One Life to Live,” this sounds good. I can’t wait to see who my main girl, Blair, is going to hook up with and now that there are fewer restraints, I see a lot of sexy scenes being played out by Kassie DePaiva!

Jim
Guest
Jim

Joshua, I’m sure if more of the key actors had signed onto the PP version of AMC, they wouldn’t have had to make the jump, but hey, that’s why the show is called All My CHILDREN. Let the SORASing begin!

Troy Turner
Guest
Troy Turner

That’s the same impression I get, Jim

The_HugoBoss
Guest
The_HugoBoss

SO EXCITED BEYOND WORDS!!!

nancylp300
Guest
nancylp300

Thank you Michael! I can’t wait for Monday. My favorite is OLTL but plan on watching both. I am so grateful to PP for bringing these shows back.

alison
Guest
alison

Yes i will be watching Amc for sure.

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

I am in tears already. Thank you for the wonderful review. And I agree with you Michael. OLTL has the best damn cast ever assembled. I am so happy to know that tradition continues.

I cannot wait to see my beloved OLTL and the start loving AMC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

su0000
Guest
su0000

Watching a soap on network TV is an hour per show..
Now, I can watch both AMC & OLTL in an hours time, awesome !!
Tow soaps for the time of one !!!!!

All My Children

Chrishell Stause Back Filming New Season of ‘Selling Sunset’

It appears that the women of Selling Sunset are back filming their upcoming season which is sure to be filled with plenty of drama, real estate deals that go bust, or go big, and plenty of fashion.

Over the weekend reports surfaced that on Friday, former All My Children and Days of our Lives alum and Selling Sunset’s most notable star, Chrishell Stause, was seen with the rest of the cast from the real estate series were many of them posted photos and “welcome back’ messages on their social media accounts.

In the photos, Stause was reunited with ‘Sunset’s’ Heather Rae Young, Mary Fitzgerald, Jason and Brett Oppenheim, Maya Vander, Christine Quinn and Amanza Smith kicking off the taping of the series fourth season.

Stause posted on her IG, “Love when doing things I love, with people I love, can be called “work.”

Meanwhile, Maya Vander posted on her IG Story: “Me & my GIRLS, back like we never left 😚💖 It’s been so long since we’ve all been able to be in the office together but we’re back and SO happy to be reunited!!!” she wrote. “I may have missed the colorful memo today 😆 but everyone’s outfits were on point 😍.”

Netflix announced in March that the popular series was renewed for two additional seasons.

Stause is nominated along with her Selling Sunset co-star Christine Quinn for “Best Fight” in the upcoming MTV Movie & TV Awards in the Unscripted ceremonies.  The award show airs next Monday night on May 17th.

So, will you be watching Chrishell on the upcoming season of Selling Sunset? Comment below.

 

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All My Children

All My Children Alums to Appear in E!’s New Series, ‘Reunion Road Trip’

All My Children is having a bit of a renaissance of late. First with the previously announced primetime series in development, Pine Valley, and now a new series on E! Entertainment Television.

Coming up on the June 10th episode, which kicks-off the new show, Reunion Road Trip, several of your favorites from AMC are part of the first episode.

Look for Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenlee), Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria), Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan), and Jacob Young (Ex-JR) along with Alicia Minshew (Ex- Debbi Morgan (Ex-Angie), Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), and Darnell Williams (Ex-Jesse), to appear.

According to EW.com, who broke the news, viewers can look for Budig, LaRue, Mathison, Young, to come together at an exclusive Hollywood mansion to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary where they get some surprise visitors in the form of Minshew, Morgan, Ripa, and Williams.

Reunion Road Trip airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT with other episodes to feature the former casts of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, A Different World and Scrubs.

So, looking forward to seeing the Pine Valley crew on Reunion Road Trip? Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Alum Finn Wittrock To Headline ‘Green Lantern’

From Pine Valley to the DC Universe! Now comes word that former All My Children star, Finn Wittrock (Ex-Damon Miller) will take on the role of Guy Gardner/Green Latern on the upcoming HBO Max series, Green Lantern from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Brothers Television.

According to Deadline who dropped the casting news, Wittrock’s Guy Gardner/Green Lantern is “a hulking mass of masculinity, and, as rendered in the comics, an embodiment of 1980s hyper-patriotism. And yet, Guy is somehow likable.”

In the premise of the series, Green Lantern reinvents the classic DC property through a story spanning decades and galaxies, beginning on Earth in 1941 with the very first Green Lantern, secretly gay FBI agent Alan Scott, and 1984, with cocky alpha male Guy Gardner (Wittrock) and half-alien Bree Jarta. They’ll be joined by a multitude of other Lanterns — from comic book favorites to never-before-seen heroes.”

Previously, Finn received Emmy nominations for his work on American Horror Story: Freak Show and for Versace: American Crime Story.

So what do you think of Finn’s new role? Comment below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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