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Soap Veteran Executive Producer Jill Farren Phelps Virtual Interview on Tap

Photo: JPI

In a very special conversation, don’t miss one of soaps longtime executive producer ‘s Jill Farren Phelps appearance on an upcoming livestream on The Locher Room.

Jill joins host and former ATWT and GL publicist, Alan Locher on Wednesday, June 23rd at 3 p.m. EST / 12 p.m. PST.

As soap fans know Jill has helmed Another World, General Hospital, Guiding Light, One Life to Live, Santa Barbara and The Young and the Restless.

She has also been nominated for 15 Daytime Emmy Awards and took home 11 Emmys for her work.

While Phelps has been a polarizing figure on the soaps, look for the good, and the bad decisions under her tenures at the soaps to be discussed and more.

Here is the link to watch it live 

So, what would you want to ask Jill? What was her best decisions and worst decisions as EP of the soaps? Let us know via the comment section below.

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ChadChristinaScott (ATWT Fan)richard w griffinJJ Recent comment authors
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Steve
Guest
Steve

I don’t have the energy to type everything, so I’ll just focus on her disastrous days at GH. Killing too many Quartermaines and Georgie Jones. Making the key focus of GH be the mob, instead of the hospital. Unceremoniously dumping vets (her treatment of Anna Lee, in particular).

Whenever I feel like complaining about Frank, I remember how much worse it was.

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

Steve, I completely agree with your assessment of JFP. You innumerated her lowlights quite well. It really frustrates and annoys me what this so-called producer did to this once-great show. I, too, could write a lot more, but you have nailed it! Thank you, Steve.

Steve
Guest
Steve

James Always appreciate your insights. The one person who really gave it back to JFP was John Ingle. When she bumped Anna Lee and him to recurring, he promptly grabbed a contract offer at DAYS. Sadly, that left viewers with a woefully recast Jed Allan as Edward. As good an actor as he was, Jed looked awkward with Alan and Tracy and his grieving scenes when Lila died lacked authenticity. Two years later, Ingle was back on contract at GH and stayed that way until his passing. As Aria mentioned, Rebecca Herbst also probably got under Jill’s skin. To finish… Read more »

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

Thank you, Steve! I always appreciate your insights as well. But you have also educated me, as I knew nothing about the situation regarding John Ingle — good for him, by the way — or the circumstances regarding Genie Francis’ Emmy win. Let’s hope there will be one for Lead Actress for Francis soon… I admire you for ending on a very positive note!

Satan
Guest
Satan

Jed Allan as Edward Quartermaine 3.0 was ridiculous. He was the same age as Alan & Tracy, for Hell’s sake, and he’s supposed to be their father?? Not that John Ingle was a good choice to play Mickey Horton either. That was the period that the abomination known as “Bonnie Lockhart” first appeared in Salem (yes, it’s true, we can’t blame her existence on ReRon. He just brought her back, for no good reason) Thank Hell that was all over with in relatively short order and John was back on GH. As far as Jill Fred Phelps goes – and… Read more »

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

I think you and I must be the only two beings in existence who are willing to give Guza any credit at all, Satan. I could not watch GH during his tenure, but it wasn’t because he can’t write; it was just too dark, dreary, and depressing (and mob-obsessed). But he knows how to execute a story (which is the biggest failing I’ve observed among unsuccessful soap writers: they may have good ideas, but they can’t execute them worth a damn); that was obvious to me anytime I’d tune back in to GH for a few days (which was as… Read more »

aria
Guest
aria

you aint kidding, she was very polarizing she also fired Rebecca Herbts,(fans got that decision reversed), I mean she alienated her audience more then bring them together. the wouldn’t even bring back legacy characters like Laura or Anna, if it wasn’t for Frank, there would be no Laura,Anna, and Lucy or Felicia.and so much more. I’m just glad she’s not with GH anymore.

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

Steve…dude…as a so-called executive producer, that Jill Farren Phelps woman is a DISASTER…PERIOD!!!!!

Steve…have a good one.

Anne
Guest
Anne

Don’t forget the destruction of AJ Quartermaine

Harry
Guest
Harry

Steve, I agree with your every point. And I might add that when she decides to fire an actor, she makes sure they go out with a humiliating exit storyline. She certainly did that to Genie Frances on Y&R. If you’re one of your favorites, you’re fine but if she dislikes you, then look out. She needs to stay away from the soap opera genre. They don’t call her the destroyer of soaps for nothing.

Damien
Guest
Damien

Her single handed destruction of y n r has we knew it as bill bells shining legacy is still felt today! Yes. They re were bad showrunners before her LML comes to mind, however from what I recollect when she came on Y N R no longer resembled anything like what Bell intended. Instantly gone was the moody dark lighting and she fired the music composer responsible for y n r s signature background scores. I believe she let most of the bell show runners go and brought over her yes ppl from her abc time including Steve Burton. I… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

If he plays softball with her, it won’t be worth watching. If he asks her how she didn’t know that Beverlee McKinsey’s contract allowed her an out from GL…that could be interesting. If he asks why she fired Anna Lee from GH, and then didn’t have the guts to tell Ms Lee that she fired her, that would be interesting. If he asks how she screwed up Y&R so bad, that would be interesting. But if he treats her like a queen, I’ll skip it.

Michael Teale
Guest
Michael Teale

Towards the end of MAB’s tenure and into JFP’s reign of terror, whatever happened to Cane’s twin brother and I know that his sister died when she was young. The one thing that MAB should have stuck to her guns with is the firing of Daniel Goddard (who got on his knees and begged MAB and the PTB to keep him around) the first go around. Keeping him around meant we all had to endure another I don’t know how many years before he was eventually fired again (for good this time), because he wouldn’t do the potential May/December romance… Read more »

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

I’ll say this much for her: she’s got guts. Given all the controversy surrounding her tenures on . . . well, take your pick of ANY show she’s been in charge of . . . I’m pretty sure I’d stay away from doing interviews in which the viewers can ask the questions, if I were she. I guess she may have fans out there, but I’ve yet to run into a single one. Anywhere. On any soap board or in any discussion group I’ve ever visited. The most sympathetic viewers I’ve run into are those who are willing to acknowledge… Read more »

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

Whoops, my bad. I was thinking Alan Locher took audience questions. Since he doesn’t, I’m sure it will indeed be a bunch of softball questions, and I’m just not interested in another fluffy, overly generous PR piece on her soap career. (And no guts points for JFP, either.) A candid, balanced interview that gave her credit where credit is due but didn’t gloss over the damage she has also often done, on the other hand, would be interesting to see. We won’t get that, alas.

JJ
Guest
JJ

I hope this isn’t a terrible interview for her. I have my issues with her work just like everyone does. I particularly did not understand or appreciate her vision of General Hospital.

However, let’s remember she is the most Emmy decorated EP in the history of soap operas. That means she has a lot of good will among actors and voting members.

I hope people treat her with kindness and respect. Also remember these are just soap operas. Entertainment. Jill did not kill any of our real family members.

Rmv
Guest
Rmv

As much as I liked how she took an already red hot Guiding Light to another level in late 1991 to 1992 (and still really good in 1993 to mid 1994) I still dislike her for killing off Maureen Bauer and having so much focus on her buddy Justin Deas as Buzz Cooper. The writers for GL were top notch and even won best writing Emmys at that time. However I wish the executive producer before Jill (Michael Liabson?) stayed the EP. We still would have had Maureen Bauer and Beverlee McKinsey probably would have stayed on longer as Alexandra… Read more »

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Guest
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Beverlee McKinsey hated the storyline and was hating the hours, so she was most definitely done with daytime. And it was proof when she only came back to renew her union insurance for a short stint on General Hospital. And even stated she didn’t like doing the work when she did it, and was enjoying her retirement.

Chaz
Guest
Chaz

She made a mess and ticked off many long-term fans during her reign at OLTL. If I remember correctly even Erika Slezak who went out of her way to always stay away from controversies even couldn’t resist commenting about her. And, I’m pretty sure Robin Strasser hated her.

JJ
Guest
JJ

Hey Chaz. I may be wrong, but Erika Slezak was always gracious when talking about Jill. She really had nothing to complain about during Phelps’ tenure. She had a young leading man and lots of good story to play.

I do know that Erika did not like Dena Higley’s writing, and quite infamously and uncharacteristically spoke out about that.

I don’t even want to speculate about Jill and Robin. Lol.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Guest
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Chaz, I’m not a big One Life fan.. in fact, it is my least favourite American daytime soap opera. However, I do know Erika Slezak did an interview some years ago, and said she held Jill Farren Phelps close to her heart, and called a “wonderful producer” in her own words. She also remarked how Phelps had a difficult time running the soap, because of the higher-ups, and even Phelps said One Life was the most difficult soap she’s worked on.

Michaela
Guest
Michaela

She has killed off so many legacy soap characters. Why would I want to listen to her?

richard w griffin
Guest
richard w griffin

Alan Locher reads our comments and sometimes asks our questions but he doesn’t do direct questions, he chooses which ones to ask. I find Alan to be the best host ever, he really is great with his guests and makes them extremely comfortable! For me my biggest problem with JFP’s time at GH was the positioning of Sonny Corinthos as the lead of the show, and it becoming mob-centered. I have never liked Sonny and while he has many fans I also think he turned off millions of viewers who left the show and never came back. The show is… Read more »

Jamesj75
Guest
Jamesj75

Amen, Brother, Amen! I completely agree with your assessment, particularly:

“…my biggest problem with JFP’s time at GH was the positioning of Sonny Corinthos as the lead of the show, and it becoming mob-centered. I have never liked Sonny…” and “why did you decide to make the show about the mob instead of the hospital?” SOMEONE should answer THAT question, Richard!

I am one of the “millions of viewers who left the show and never came back,” although I have admittedly returned upon rare occasion for special episodes (e.g., recent tribute to Sean Donely) and glimpses of Genie Francis.

Barbara from Atlanta
Guest
Barbara from Atlanta

She’s got a LOT to explain/defend about her controversial history on numerous soaps. This event will be a good test of Alan Locher’s ability as an interviewer. If he asks Phelps legitimate questions about her controversial actions (take your pick) on any of those soaps, it will be a fascinating interview. On the other hand, if the conversation is nothing but “fluff” pointing out her years of experience but never mentioning any of the “road kill” in her wake, I’m done with Locher.

richard w griffin
Guest
richard w griffin

Watched this interview this afternoon and it was quite good! Very informative and she got to have her say. I didn’t always agree with her, but I enjoyed hearing her point of view. She has had a fascinating career on soaps. Alan, as usual, did a great job with the interview! The only question I wish he had asked, since she has worked on both New York based and Los Angeles based soaps – what are the biggest differences between NY-based and LA-based soaps, in her opinion?

Christina
Guest
Christina

Can’t stand this woman. She destroyed literally every soap she ever touched, and I’m so glad she’s gone from the genre. Whatever the opposite of the Midas touch is, that’s JFP. HOW did she ever manage to get, much less keep, job after job after job?

Chad
Guest
Chad

JFP’s tenures at One Life to Live and General Hospital were complete disasters. But I should point out that at least IMHO, her tenures at Santa Barbara and Guiding Light (despite her killing off Maureen) were actually quite good.

Guiding Light

Guiding Light’s Robert Newman Pays Tribute to the Brilliance of Lisa Brown

On Sunday, longtime Guiding Light mainstay, Robert Newman (Ex-Josh Lewis), shared a heartfelt message on his Facebook page on the death of his former co-star, Lisa Brown (Ex-Nola Reardon).

As previously reported, Brown passed away earlier this week at the age of 67 from cancer. She portrayed the beloved role of Nola on the CBS soap opera from 1980-1985 and was front and center in many stories which featured Nola’s antics, fantasies, and of course, her love affair with Quint, the late Michael Tylo.

In his message on Brown’s death, Robert Newman expressed: “I was greatly saddened to hear of the sudden death of the great Lisa Brown. When I first joined the show in 1981, Lisa was pretty much the center of everything. A real whirlwind. Her work with the late Michael Tylo was fantastic. I particularly have fond memories of Nola’s fantasies …Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, etc. I don’t think I was ever a part of those fantasies, but I remember watching them being taped in the studio and she was just amazing.”

Newman goes on to say: “One of my fondest Lisa memories, however, was sitting in the audience at the Winter Garden Theater in NYC watching Lisa head up the cast of 42nd Street with Lee Roy Reams in 1981 or so. It was one of those times when you see a colleague that you know from one genre, Daytime Drama, in an entirely different genre, Musical Comedy, and you are completely surprised and blown away. Again, she was just fantastic in the role and I as a fellow musical comedy performer, I had great, great respect for her. Below is a clip from a television performance of her as Peggy in 42nd Street. Her death at such a young age is a great loss to the daytime community. Love and prayers to her family and friends.”

Michael Fairman TV also shares below the video posted by Robert below, which reminds us of just how multi-talented Lisa was for her fans, the audience, and to all that knew her. On a personal note: “Lisa always performed at the ‘Night of the Daytime Stars’ benefit for AMFAR in New York City during the AIDS pandemic that I created and produced.  It was the annual event held the night before the Daytime Emmys, and she was always willing to lend her support and talents to help others in need.”

Share your thoughts on Robert Newman’s remembrance of Lisa Brown via the comment section.

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As The World Turns

As the World Turns and Guiding Light Favorite, Lisa Brown, Passes Away at 67

(UPDATED) In just more heartbreaking news in the soap world in 2021, we have lost another beloved performer.  Lisa Brown, who was so noteworthy for her spunky and emotional turns as Guiding Light’s Nola Reardon from 1980-1985, and later as Iva Snyder on As the World Turns from 1986-1994, has died.

Brown passed away this week on November 24th at the age of 67 following a brief illness.  The news came via the As the World Turns Facebook Fan Group and Soap Opera Digest.

This comes just two months later following the death of her former on-screen love interest Michael Tylo (Ex-Quinton, Guiding Light), who passed away in late September.

Those that followed Lisa’s career know she also starred in the Broadway Musical 42nd Street, while still playing Nola each and every day on Guiding Light.

She is survived by her children: James “Buddy” Nielsen, and daughter Victoria from her first husband Tom Nielsen (Ex-Floyd, GL) in addition to her two grandchildren, Penelope Ruiz-Nielsen and Brayden Hopf, and her second husband Brian Neary.

 

Photo: JPI

Brown’s on-screen ATWT daughter, Martha Byrne  (Ex-Lily) simply tweeted, “My heart is broken.”

On Friday, Lisa’s son, Buddy Nielsen, posted a touching tribute to his mother, where he revealed that she passed away due to cancer.

Buddy shared: “My Mom passed away the day before Thanksgiving after a very quick battle with cancer. This all happened really fast and wasn’t expecting it. I’ve been MIA as I’ve been back and forth between LA and NJ as she has been in and out of the hospital the last couple weeks. This dream we live, we are all subject to the suffering, aging and death. It’s not to be morose but to understand that we have finite time and must take care with what we do and how we do it. To be able to be with someone at their last breath is truly beautiful. We must not fear death as without it we would never be born and experience the 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. Our existence is both small and vast all at the same time. We are tiny but immense. I know she is here but no longer in her physical form, what we do in love we leave in death. My beautiful daughter and unborn son are her legacy.”

Share your condolences to Lisa’s family, and let us know of your remembrances of this wonderful actress who gave us so many memorable moments throughout her career via the comment section below. But first, watch Lisa in some of her classic scenes from ATWT and GL.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Buddy Nielsen (@budthechud)

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Cynthia Watros Sits Down with Maurice Benard on ‘State of Mind’

Om his latest episode of his You Tube series, State of Mind, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny Cortinhos) welcomes his co-star Cynthia Watros (Nina Reeves) for a highly-anticipated conversation and episode.

GH fans have watched for months on-air as Nina and an amnesiac Sonny aka “Mike” fell for each other, while everyone in Port Charles thought Sonny was dead, and Nina kept that secret in her vendetta against Carly.

Now, the two powerhouse performers have an intimate chat about Watros’ career highlights, raising twins, and working with each other in their often controversial storyline.

Daytime audiences first saw Watros as Annie Dutton on Guiding Light in which she won a Lead Actress Daytime Emmy – a performance which Benard recalls seeing with Cynthia acting up a storm in scenes on a courtroom witness stand that blew him away.

On her start on soaps, Cynthia shared that: “Soaps are amazing,” because not only do they help you make decisions really quickly, but that as an actor, it also taught her about lighting and finding her mark.

Cynthia related that she had made the heart-wrenching decision to leave New York and the role of GL’s Annie Dutton, because she wanted to go to L.A to work, which eventually landed her the role in the second season of ABC’s hit drama, Lost.

Throughout this State of Mind, Maurice and Cynthia touch on themes of depression, anxiety, and for Watros, raising her two teenaged girls, during this Covid-19 world we have all been living though.

When it came time to discuss working together on GH, Benard expressed that Cynthia has been a “a gem” to work with, after he had initial reservations about the storyline GH was set to tell.

In return, Watros shared that she has loved the storyline adding: “I love the complexity of it and how it’s not neat and clean since that’s how we are as people, we all make mistakes, and we are not all perfect.” And in working in scenes with Maurice, Cynthia expressed that he is “a rock’ who grounds everyone he works with.

Watch the entire conversation between Maurice and Cynthia on the latest State of Mind below. 

Then, let us know if you enjoyed the chat between the two, and if you are rooting for more Nina and Sonny, or are you still Team Carson via the comment section.

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