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Susan Lucci Chats On The Emotional All My Children Reunion, Her Home And Family Hosting Stint & Pine Valley Memories!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

This week, All My Children icon, Susan Lucci  (Ex-Erica Kane) appeared as the special guest co-host on the Hallmark Channel’s morning show, Home and Family (weekdays 10PMEST/9AMCST).  Susan joined hosts Mark Steines and Debbie Matenopoulos for an event-filled week that featured plenty of laughter, memories, and tears.

At the centerpiece of Lucci’s guest host stint was the opportunity for her, and several of the most recognized faces in Pine Valley to gather together for a special reunion episode that aired on Thursday.  Special guests included: Peter Bergman, Kim Delaney, Lawrence Lau, Eden Riegel, Kathleen Noone, Eva LaRue, John Callahan, Cameron Mathison, Michael E. Knight, and Jill Larson.

Toward the end of the special two-hour AMC reunion broadcast, Lucci & her longtime AMC pals were reduced to tears while paying homage to the series creator Agnes Nixon, who passed away last year.  But then, the Home and Family producers gave the viewers, and Susan, and the cast, a very special moment, which featured a segment paying tribute to their AMC colleagues who have passed away, which included:  Frances “Fra” Heflin, Ruth Warrick, Louis Edmonds, Kay Campbell, Mary Fickett, Lee Chamberlin, Larkin Malloy, Matthew Cowles, James Mitchell, David Canary, and Eileen Herlie.

Following the taping, Susan revealed she will be appearing at this year’s Daytime Emmys where the annual awards ceremonies are set to honor Agnes Nixon.  On Friday, Susan finished up her hosting gig having her daughter, former soap star Liza Huber (Ex-Gwen), as one of the special guests on Friday’s episode.

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Susan immediately following Thursday’s heartfelt AMC reunion to get her thoughts on the emotional episode, the cancellation of Devious Maids, if she would host her own daytime talk show, and those amazing Pine Valley memories as the one and only Erica Kane, and more.  Here is what the incomparable Lucci had to say.

What was it like seeing everybody here today on the set of Home and Family, and then seeing the In-Memoriam clip package with so many of your colleagues who had passed away?  I watched you as the cameras rolled, and I could just see how emotional it was for you.  What did you think of all of this?

Courtesy/Hallmark Channel

SUSAN:  Well, it was emotional.  We have all never been together in the same place at the same time.  We have run into each other individually over the years, but for all of us to be together really washed over me with a flood of emotions, and I can definitely say that we are a family.

Watching you as this all went down, I could see how much this all means to you.  And all of us – those onstage, those in attendance – would go right back to that magical place that was Pine Valley.

SUSAN:  I feel like if we did All My Children again, it would all still be there.  Each person, individually and collectively was fantastic to be around, and to work with.  We spent a lot of time together.  We were in the trenches together for a long, long time. This was just spectacular to have this reunion.

When Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) surprised you during one of the segments on the reunion episode, was that a shocker to you that he was there?  Did you even know, or have a hint, that he might show up?

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

SUSAN:   No!  I did not know!  You know, Jill Larson’s (Ex-Opal) name was on the list as originally coming, and then she wasn’t here.  So I was going, “Where’s Jill?  Where’s Jill?”  They told me she couldn’t make it so everyone lied really well. (Laughs)  I, myself, personally thought Michael Knight’s name is not on the list, but Michael did not always go to every event in New York that we did at All My Children, and everyone does their own thing. But, I never thought Michael would be here!  First of all, it’s a huge honor that Michael showed up and did this, but I could tell it meant a lot to him, too.  I could see how touched he was.   He was looking at his life here, and that is how it feels for me, because it was my whole adult life up until five years ago.  When they showed the In-Memoriam tribute, even the thought of it had me in tears.  Seeing David Canary (Adam/Stuart), Agnes Nixon (Creator, All My Children), Fra Heflin (Mona) and Ruth Warrick (Phoebe), Jimmy Mitchell (Palmer) and Eileen Herlie (Myrtle), and on and on as each person came up, everything comes back to you in a flash.  I had memories of each person.  It was incredible.

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You were so close to the late Agnes Nixon.  You attended her funeral as many that follow you saw a few touching photos on your social media accounts, and you will be attending this year’s Daytime Emmys to honor her.  Agnes touched so many people’s lives.  I always tell the story, how I truly believe that as a young boy who had a hard time in grade school, if it wasn’t for All My Children and One Life to Live, I don’t know how I would have gotten through.  So many people have been so profoundly touched and connected by what she created.

Courtesy/PaleyCenterforMedia

SUSAN:  That is true, and of course, I was there at Agnes’ funeral.  And what you say, it does seem to hold true today how her work touched so many lives.  Many professional men and women who were at a crossroads and didn’t think they could do it, or they wondered if they’d do it, they would think, “I wonder what Erica Kane would do.”  And they would say, “Yes!  She would do it”  That is still just amazing, and so touching to me.

How was your co-hosting gig this week on Home and Family?  Is this a preview to perhaps someday hosting your own daytime talk show? 

SUSAN:  It has been spectacular!  You know, when they asked me to do this for a whole week … I have never done this before.  I may have hosted, or guest-hosted on a show for a day.  I thought this is an opportunity now for me to see what kind of work this is.  I have had the most remarkable time.  I mean, the best time!  And again, it’s so important to be in the right hands.  This group is spectacular, and warm, and everybody is on the same page. Woody Fraser (Creator, Home and Family) has put together an ensemble cast much like when it was on All My Children, and you know the difference.  The bar is set very high if you come from All My Children, and you don’t know if you are going to find anything close to it.  On that note I will say, Devious Maids was a fantastic experience, as is this, so I am very lucky indeed.

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Devious Maids was cancelled, but it was handled much more diplomatically than the way you, and the cast were told that All My Children was being canned by ABC.  How did you feel having to now leave Devious Maids, and the role of Genevieve Delatour behind you?

Courtesy/Hallmark Channel

SUSAN:  We knew the show was good, and we had a worldwide audience.  I had a wonderful experience, and again, we were in good hands with Marc Cherry’s writing, and it was such a good group that they had put together.  We always felt it was a great show. We had a love fest filming Devious Maids in Atlanta.

Behind-the-scenes last year, your daughter Liza and then you, came forward publicly about your grandson Brendan’s diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.  How did that decision all come about?

SUSAN:  Yes, we did go public with it, but it was something that I thought was Liza’s story to tell when she is ready, and if she is ready.  If she had chosen not to, that would be her choice, too.  I had been working with Cerebral Palsy quietly in New York, but nobody knew it, because it was not my story to tell.  Liza came with me to one of their wonderful events, and she made the decision she wants to tell the story for a number of reasons.  It’s been a wonderful thing. Liza and I have talked about it, and that there isn’t a lot written about Cerebral Palsy.  So we thought this is a chance to shine a light on Cerebral Palsy, and inform people who are going through this that they are not alone.  It’s very important to let Brendan know how very proud we are of him, because he is so spectacular.  What we didn’t know about this was how much light would come back.  Liza has received so many phone calls, emails, texts, videos, that it has opened up a whole community to her.

Courtesy/Hallmark Channel

Finally, when I was backstage with Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria) and others watching the monitor, when they showed you as Erica Kane supermodel in that All My Children clip package, everyone was in awe all over again, and how fun that was to see!  What did you think when you were watching Erica’s modeling days again?

SUSAN:   I loved seeing all of them!  For me, it was a dream come true.  I’m 5‘2” on a good day, Michael!   I’m not 6’3”. (Laughs)  So to get to model on All My Children was so much fun!

What were your thoughts on the Home and Family All My Children reunion episode? Did you missing seeing La Lucci as Erica Kane and Pine Valley even more? Should the show be resurrected?  What did you think of Susan as a co-host? What was your favorite part of the reunion broadcast, and her comments in our interview? Share your thoughts in the comment below.

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Rapids
Rapids

Susan is most lovely but when she guest hosted Live with Regis she was quite guarded in her conversation. It sounds like she opened up a little bit after this reunion.
The show is not going to be resurrected so it is not a matter of what we say on a message board. The show was great back in the day but it needs to Rest In Peace.

P. McMahon
P. McMahon

My favorite part was the tribute to Agnes Nixon and the video homage to the AMC performers who are no longer with us. It is amazing to me how many years those “Pine Valley residents’ entertained me and were part of my daily life. And I miss them still especially favorites like Eileen Herlie and Frances Heflin.

Ray
Ray

Has there ever been anyone more graceful than Susan Lucci? I am always amazed at her level of fame and success that she continues to be so humble, kind and a beautiful soul. To the new generation of actors: take note. This is the way it should be done.

Susan: It has always been on my bucket list to meet you. Several friends that have had that opportunity have said they have been left with meeting someone so special. They also said you have a royalty-like persona that is so wonderful. For that, thank you.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

You nailed it, Ray! Thank you, Friend! 🙂

jaybird369
jaybird369

James…EXACTLY!!! To me, Susan has ALWAYS BEEN AN A+ CLASS ACT…AND ALWAYS WILL BE!!! Yes.

Have a good one, Brother.

Tony
Tony

Susan Lucci is a classy, sassy lady. Wow Susan turned 70 years old, she looks great for her age.

Celia
Celia

She does, doesn’t she, Tony? Amazingly, she still looks great in swimwear. That’s a big feat for an ‘older’ woman to pull off, as the skin loses elasticity…..what we see is NOT plastic surgery. It’s genetic….natural!! She’s one of those ‘forever young’ kind of woman.

Tony
Tony

She is a natural beauty Celia, Susan looks terrific for her age with no face lifts. She is a wonderful actress too,. I miss Erica on AMC. I have always had a crush on Susan Lucci, but she is happilly married and I am too young for her. I am 29 years old.

John Gordon
John Gordon

Well…in all due respect….I doubt that Susan Lucci, whom I adore, hasn’t had anything “done”. But whatever it is, it’s great work that’s for sure.

Celia
Celia

LOL, Tony…no worries. You and I are about the same age, and I’ve always had a crush on Sean Connery, and I’m married. Admiring beauty is akin to admiring a piece of art: never goes out of style, at any age. Nothing wrong with looking or appreciating …..
But, yeah, La Lucci e’ bellissima. And, that hair!!! She always had beautiful, rich hair.

loveafternoon
loveafternoon

Susan Lucci has always been most gracious, it is a beautiful thing that she is more open than ever. What a quality week, a quality reunion to represent the gold that AMC was, including the cream of the crop actors. To see them together reminds that there is a chance to resurrect, perhaps in a new way.

And if Ms. Lucci wishes to host a show again, in any form, she is considered a friend to many viewers. This week and how you have enriched it by your reporting on it, Michael is not only a milestone but foreshadows some great things to come.

Gail
Gail

I missed it

beacon
beacon

It’s a shame they couldn’t do one of these for OLTL. I always feel like it was left in AMC and GH’s shadow and never given any acknowledgement.

David
David

True. But then again, AMC and GH are really the only soaps in history that have achieved mainstream popularity. Not even the highest rated soap opera, Y&R, has been enriched in pop culture as has been AMC and GH.

Pretty much anyone born before the 1990s, soap fans and non-soap fans alike, have heard about AMC and GH.

Charday
Charday

I liked the segments (on Friday) where they showed the Dancing with the Stars team doing her hair/makep-up. Also, the lady who does her costumes showed how they “bead-up” the dancing costumes.

Cathy
Cathy

I laughed. I cried. Now, all over again, I miss AMC.

Diane
Diane

I liked watching all my children soap opera every day. I wish they would bring back the soap opera’s again

Kathyj
Kathyj

Great reunion great to see Susan lucci now and years ago what a beautiful lady inside and out she has so much class and to see the film of all who have passed was hard but shevgot through it she is a champion so emotional to say the least beautiful tribute

John Gordon
John Gordon

I wish the show were back on even in an abbreviated format –

Johnny Grant
Johnny Grant

There are rumors floating around the Internet that NETFLIX may be interested in doing a re-launch of ALL MY CHILDREN – of course, they are not confirmed officially, but one never knows – anything is possible.

fginaspy
fginaspy

I made her Apple Cake recipe for my book group. It is a keeper. A very simple cake recipe with apples and sugar/cinnamon topping. I found the same recipe online with chocolate chips for a variation. I am impressed with Ms. Lucci. She comes across genuine and sincere. As for Ericka Kane I wasn’t a fan.

Tivette
Tivette

LOVED IT ALL…La Lucci is one class act and the whole reunion was unforgettable! I, too, wish they would do a reunion show for OLTL. Maybe if we all wrote in…

All My Children

Cameron Mathison Reveals Cancer Diagnosis and Shares Heartfelt Message

One of our the best guys we know, Cameron Mathison (co-host, Home & Family and Ex-Ryan Lavery, All My Children), revealed over the last 24 hours that he has been diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma – kidney cancer, but treatment for him will be underway and the prognosis is good.

Cameron first shared the news on Monday’s Home & Family in a special announcement enlightening viewers on his health condition (watch video below) and later took to his Instagram and social media to share more details.   Of note: Mathison’s healthy lifestyle has indeed helped, and shown, that his cancer has not spread.

In addition, Mathison wrote: “About a month ago, I had an MRI for some gut issues I’ve been having, and during that MRI they fd a tumor on my right kidney. It’s consistent with Renal Cell Carcinoma … or kidney cancer. The good news is that it hasn’t spread to any other organs🙏🏼 They say my healthy lifestyle and diet has no doubt helped keep it from growing and spreading to other areas, as doctors think it’s been growing in me for minimum 10 years🙏🏼. I am extremely lucky that we found it early.” He thanked his doctor and his family, saying, “[wife] Vanessa, [kids] Lucas and Leila have been absolutely amazing with their love and support… as have my mom, dad, brother, and everyone at Home and Family, Hallmark, and ET❤️ My surgery is scheduled on September 12th, I was hoping to receive positive thoughts, prayers, or whatever you feel comfortable with, on 9/12 (my surgery is at 1pm PST) 🙏🏼.” He concluded, “Feeling very grateful and optimistic!”

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Send positive vibes Cameron’s way as he goes through his medical procedure this week, share your comments below.

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All My Children

8 Years To The Day Of All My Children & One Life to Live Being Canceled; Still Considered By Many Worst Move For Daytime

It’s hard to believe that 8 years ago today on April 14th, 2011, the soap world, its fans, and the cast members, learned of the heartbreaking news that ABC, in one swift move, decimated its daytime line-up when they announced the cancellations of long running series, All My Children (which would end at its 41st year), and One Life to Live (which would ends its run in its 43rd year).

At the time, ABC announced it would move to more lifestyle/entertainment series to replace these dramas.  In its place came The Chew and The Revolution, neither show is still on the air today.  Executives at that time pointed to research saying that times are changing and that their decision was “guided by extensive research into what today’s daytime viewers want,” and blame, in part, “the changing viewing patterns of the audience” for the axing of AMC and OLTL

Then ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons had joked to Deadline about the big announcement that he: “Pre-entered the witness protection program prior to today’s events.”  He added that “The demise of the two venerable soaps was actually a year in the making.  A year ago, we started to look at our projections where the ratings for the soaps would go.  When those projections came in pretty discouraging, the network began to aggressively develop replacement shows, 15 of them.  Four of the 15 were picked up to pilot: The Chew and The Revolution and two others, a talk show and a dating show. Originally, the idea was to cancel only one daytime drama.  The way the ratings developed and the pilots turned out, the ratings developed negatively and pilots developed positively, so we decided to make a bigger shift.”  Of note is that when it went off the air, One Life to Live was in third place among its competitors in the ratings.

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The press release that came with the cancellations stated: “To honor the core, passionate audience and their rich history both shows will conclude in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers.”

Following the cancellations daytime reeled. The mainstream was sure it meant the endings of the soaps, period.  However, four shows illustrated that is not true at all.  For Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless all remain, and still whether they are up or down in their numbers/ratings, they remain relevant and important to the enduring daytime viewing audience.

Sadly, as with any shows, the end of ABC’s AMC and OLTL meant loss of jobs for so many working in front of the camera and behind the scenes. One Life was the last soap opera in production in New York at the time.  AMC was already being shot in LA to cut costs to save it.

Still in 2019, if you venture on to social media, especially Twitter, you see fans constantly missing its stars and the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, wanting this wrong rectified.  Although Prospect Park tried to revive the show with their online versions, eventually after legal battles that went on for a few years, ABC now retains the right to these properties,

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The good news is that many favorites from AMC and OLTL have found success and been hired on other soap operas, bringing their followings with them, whether it be on-screen, or in the writing, producing, directing or crew departments.

So, do you think the loss of AMC and OLTL consolidated daytime and made the remaining shows stronger so they would not be touched or canceled?  Do you think ABC should try to mount a resurrected AMC and OLTL or an amalgamation of the two?  Do you remember where you were when you learned the two soaps were cancelled? Was this the worst misstep of all-time for daytime? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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All My Children

George R. R. Martin’s “Leak” Of New Hulu Series WILD CARDS Featuring Eden Riegel, Thorsten Kaye. and Greg Rikkart

April Fool’s Day started off with a bang today when Eden Riegel (Ex-Bianca, AMC) posted a photo of herself with Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Greg Rikaart (Ex-Leo, DAYS)  in a very intriguing image.  See above pic!  As it turns out, it’s said to be from behind the scenes from some leaked footage of the upcoming Hulu series, Wild Cards.

The premise of Wild Cards is based on the sci-fi anthology series edited by George R. R, Martin, best known for writing the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels, on which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based.  Riegel’s husband, Andrew Miller is the showrunner attached to the upcoming series.

On Martin’s website he teases the set-up of the “leaked” video clip:  “This was not supposed to go public.. Everybody (Well, everybody that has been paying attention knows that we are developing two Wild Cards as a series for Hulu  Andrew Miller has taken the reins as showrunner, a writing staff has been hired, and they have been hard at work for months.  What was NOT supposed to be known is how far they’ve come.  Not only have some scripts been finished, but the first show has gone into production and has been shooting.  That was supposed to be a deep dark secret, however.   We wanted to surprise the world. It’s hard to keep secrets in Hollyweird, however.  And now it appears that some of the rough footage has been leaked by person or persons unknown”

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Meanwhile, Riegel sent out a series of tweets: “Hooo boy…cat’s out of the bag! Fans, please don’t judge our show based on these leaked videos!! The effects are going to knock your socks off. And my costars, and , are doing the best work of their lives!”  That was followed by, T”hank you for the chance to work with you on your first foray into soaps! I am humbled and honored. We won’t let you down.” And then, “I’m probably not allowed to share this with all the NDAs I signed, but damnit I’m just so proud of the team!  think we are breaking new ground for soaps. So proud to work with you!”

Now below, check out the Wild Cards “leaked footage” and let us know if you think of the …. um … drama! Comment below.  And one more thing … Happy April Fool’s!

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