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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

One Life to Live and Guiding Light Stars Share Reactions and Remembrances of Jerry verDorn

Over the last 24 hours, tributes have poured in on social media for beloved soap opera veteran, Jerry verDorn (Ex-Ross, GL and Ex-Clint, OLTL) who passed away on May 1st.

The two-time Daytime Emmy-winning star, was one of the most genuine people you could ever meet and work with as noted by so many of his former colleagues from Llanview to Springfield.

Michael Fairman TV will continue to update this post as more remembrances for Jerry continue to be shared and posted.  Here is just a sampling of verDorn’s impact on the lives of those who worked with him in front of the camera and behind the scenes:

Photo: JPI

Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki, OLTL) statement to her Fan Club: “For anyone who knew Jerry verDorn, Sunday, May 1st, was a heartbreakingly sad day.He was a man of such warmth and kindness, talent, intelligence and most importantly humor, that every day spent working with him could hardly be called work.  It was joy.  He so loved what he did and was so very good at it. I was the very lucky recipient of his last 8 years in daytime and I thank God for that. “He made every day one to look forward to. I will always think of him with that lovely, rather impish, smile on his face, and that will stay in my heart forever. I know that he has gone to a peaceful place, with no pain.  I send my love and deepest sympathies to Beth and their sons and their families, of whom he was so very proud. They have lost a great man.”

Melissa Archer (Ex-Natalie, OLTL) expressed: “I’m heartbroken to hear of Jerry VerDorn’s passing. I have so many wonderful things to say about this man, but I’ll try to keep it brief. I had the honor of playing his daughter on oltl. He was genuine from start to finish. A giving actor, a caring coworker, funny, talented, and full of smiles. When he took over the role of Clint, it was seamless. It felt as though he’d always been there and he formed family bonds with all of us quickly. His family are in my thoughts and prayers.”

Bree Williamson (Ex-Jessica, OLTL) shared: “I am devastated to hear about the death of Jerry. He was a wonderful man and I am so grateful for the time that I spent with him as my TV father. He was a talented and generous actor and a kind and gentle man. He made it effortless for me to feel close to him and to love him like a dad. I enjoyed everyday I was lucky enough to spend with him and I will hold those memories of him in my heart and mind forever. 💔💔”

Photo: JPI

Amanda Setton (Ex-Kimberly, OLTL, now Brook Lynnm GH) said: “I am so very sorry to hear this news. I was so fortunate to have worked with Jerry early in my career. I learned so much from him. I remember we would often run lines in his dressing room, classical music playing and all. His preparation and commitment to his craft was inspiring. He was an incredible actor, the consummate professional; prepared, present, supportive, and kind. He treated everyone with such respect and admiration. We have lost someone special. I am holding his family in my thoughts and prayers. “

Ron Carlivati (Ex-head writer, OLTL, now head writer, DAYS) shared: “Sad to hear the news that Jerry Ver Dorn has passed away. Jerry stepped into the role of Clint Buchanan in 2005 and quickly made it his own, playing a loving husband and father and eventually a very convincing villain, although the man himself was all heart. Rest in peace. #OLTL”

Robin Strasser (Ex-Dorian, OLTL) said:#JerryVerDorn a fine actor and true gentleman. It always felt good to see him, not just because he was so darn good looking (he was:) but because he was so affable & easygoing; while being thoroughly hardworking and dedicated to the work. All honor to one of the best of the best!”

Frank Valentini (Ex-EP, OLTL, now EP, GH) tweeted: “I was very sad to learn about the passing of my friend and all around great guy, Jerry verDorn (Clint #OLTL.) On behalf of everyone here at #GH, we send our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.”

Photo: JPI

Mark Lawson (Ex-Brody, OLTL) expressed: What a gentleman. I remember being so intimidated by both he and Bob Woods. Until I finally had scenes with them.  Jerry was the consummate gentleman. So elegant and kind. With a blue collar approach to the work and a respect and generosity for his fellow actors that flew beyond what was necessary. He was a benevolent king on that set. And funny. And ready to laugh.This photo was from the very last moments of filming OLTL at the studios in Manhattan.  I was blessed that day to work with Erika, Jerry, Bree, and Melissa.  I think about that day and these people all the time. Farewell, sir. It was a pleasure to know you.  #jerryverdorn #onelifetolive #oltl”

Liz Keifer (shared: “My heart is broken and filled with bittersweet love for Jerry and his family. Thank you for being my trusted friend onscreen and off. It was an honor to be yours. Rest well, dear Jerry. You are loved beyond measure.”

Patrick Mulcahey (Former head writer, GL) “So sad to hear of Jerry verDorn’s passing. What a fine actor and a good guy. He never stopped thanking me for a special GL episode I wrote for him (Ross’s Election Day dream), but I loved his work way back when Ross was with Vanessa, then Carrie, and then later, with Blake… He and Peter Simon [ex-Ed] played best friends beautifully — abiding male friendships are rare on soaps — and he had crazy deep chemistry with all his leading ladies. Writing Blake and Ross was about as much fun as a writer could have and those scenes always aired so deliciously… Many thanks, sir, for all you offered us, the humor, the depth, the stuffiness and vanity too, which you knew was there in all of us. Sorry you had to leave us in apple blossom time. Sorry you had to leave us at all.”

Robert Newman (Ex-Josh, GL; now Ashland, Y&R): “This one really hits hard. Jerry Ver Dorn was a wonderful actor and a beautiful person. He was one of my first role models. He actually was instrumental in getting me into Union service. He was our Aftra Deputy on Guiding Light, and eventually I took over for him in that role on the show. That planted seed led me to over a decade of serving on both the National and Local boards of Aftra, then Sag-Aftra after the merger. One of the finest human beings I’ve ever known. Rest peacefully, Jerry.”

What do you think about the comments and tributes from Jerry’s former castmates? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

 

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A post shared by Melissa Archer (@_melissaarcher)

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Breaking News

Guiding Light & One Life to Live Favorite, Jerry verDorn, Passes Away at 72

Very sad news to report on Monday.  Two-time Daytime Emmy-winner, Jerry verDorn, has died at the age of 72 after a months -long battle with cancer.

Jerry passed away on Sunday, May 1st peacefully at his home.

Daytime fans loved Jerry for his portrayals of Ross Marler on Guiding Light (1979-2005)  and then Clint Buchanan on One Life to Live (2005-2012 on ABC and 2013 on Prospect Park’s online version).  He later retired after 34 years of acting on daytime TV.

For his work on Guiding Light, Jerry took home back-to-back Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category in 1995 and 1996. Throughout his time on the CBS soap, he also earned four additional nominations for his performances.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Beth, his sons Jake and Peter, daughters-in-law Laura and Erin, his sister Bonnie, brothers Jim and Dan, and grandchildren: Benjamin, Nora and Penelope

A private memorial celebration will be held at a later date this summer.

Share your thoughts, remembrances and condolences for Jerry and his family in the comment section below.

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Guiding Light

GL Alum Matt Bomer to Star and Exec Prod ‘Fellow Travelers’ for Showtime

Another Matt Bomer (Ex-Ben, G) project just got the greenlight from Showtime.  The former Guiding Light alum will now star and be one of the executive producers of the series, Fellow Travelers.

According to Deadline, it will be an eight-part limited series created and also executive produced by Ron Nyswaner, the Oscar-nominated writer of Philadelphia who is also the co-producer of Showtime’s hit series, Ray Donovan.

According to the log lines: “Fellow Travelers is a love story and political thriller, chronicling the volatile romance of two very different men who meet in the shadow of McCarthy-era Washington.”

Bomer take on the role of the charismatic Hawkins Fuller, who maintains a financially rewarding, behind-the scenes career in politics. Hawkins avoids emotional entanglements, until he meets Tim Laughlin, a young man brimming with idealism and religious faith. They begin a romance just as Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn declare war on “subversives and sexual deviants,” initiating one of the darkest periods in 20th-century American history.

The series takes place over four decades, as Hawk and Tim cross paths through the Vietnam War protests of the 1960s, the drug-fueled disco hedonism of the 1970s and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, while facing obstacles in the world and in themselves.

Fellow Travelers will go into production in Toronto, Canada this July.

So, what do you think about Matt’s upcoming role? Comment below.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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