Soap News: Susan Lucci still in talks with AMC, Shemar Moore nixes Y&R return – Plus: CTV drops B&B

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Toronto had a lot of TV star power this week as Canadian broadcast networks presented their fall lineups to media and advertisers. I spoke to two famous soap alums, Susan Lucci and Shemar Moore on their possible daytime comebacks – plus I dig around to see if The Bold and the Beautiful will have a Canadian home in the fall, because CTV is done with it. I’ve also got a recap of the week’s biggest news items and a look at what’s coming up next week on all your favourite soaps.

 

Susan Lucci was in Toronto on Wednesday for the Shaw Upfront to promote Devious Maids, the new series created and produced by Desperate HousewivesMarc Cherry where Eva Longoria also serves as an exec producer. La Lucci and I met briefly to discuss her very un-Erica Kane-like role on the Lifetime series. You’ll see Lucci doing more comedy and crying over someone Erica Kane would never go for – the help! Lucci shared that she’s still in the process of working out some time to schedule in her return to the recently re-launched All My Children revival…this despite the labour issues (more on that later).

Lifetime is offering Canadians a sneak peak at the soapy new primetime series beginning this Sunday, June 9 at mylifetime.ca. The series also features Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty), Dania Ramirez (Entourage), Roselyn Sanchez (Without A Trace, As the World Turns), Grant Show (Melrose Place), Matt Cedeno (Days of our Lives) and Briana Brown (General Hospital, Homeland).

— Due to a dispute between the union representing the production staffers of All My Children and One Life to Live and Prospect Park, both soaps will take an early hiatus until the situation is resolved. Both soaps were expected to go on hiatus beginning June  17, the hiatus instead began earlier this week. Deadline is also reporting that producers are even considering a move out of Connecticut should the situation with the union not be resolved. Despite the behind-the-scenes drama, there are enough episodes of AMC and OLTL in the can to last fans through September and writers have been urged to continue writing.

— Also in town was Shemar Moore on Thursday for CTV’s Upfront presentation to promote Criminal Minds. Out of the talent pool from the U.S. shows, Moore was by far the most applauded, which surprised him since he knew most of the fanfare stems from playing Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless, a role which he hasn’t played for almost nine years.

Despite his fondness for the show and career it has given him, Moore told me that he doesn’t think he’d return to the soap that made him a household name, explaining that the writers and producers who knew the character inside-out are no longer there, so he feels that the new regime wouldn’t do the character justice even though Malcolm’s family members — Neil and Lily (played by Kristoff St. John and Christel Khalil) — are still on the
canvas.

I guess he has a point…we’d all like to forget when the show cast Eddie Winslow from Family Matters as Malcolm a few years back and forced us to believe that they based this version on the late great Bill Bell’s character notes!

— CTV announced they were adding a slew of talk programming to their daytime lineup with the most watched television series in the world, The Bold and the Beautiful noticeably absent from the main CTV schedule (where it airs at 1:30 p.m.) and CTV Two (where it also airs at 12:30 p.m.).

New Bell Media-produced The Social and U.S. acquisition Bethenny will join CTV at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. in the afternoon, joining SIX other talk/lifestyle shows (Live! With Kelly and Michael, The Marilyn Denis Show, Dr. Phil, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The
Dr. Oz Show
).

There was some hope that B&B would pop up on the CTV Two schedule, but no luck. The sister-network will offer reruns of EllenMarilyn Denis, The Social, Bethenny, Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil – even though they all run on the flagship network. Both CTVs are available wildly across the country and the media company also the Canadian E!, which operates under a talk TV license and could easily house reruns of these talk shows. The only non-talk block on CTV Two consists of the noon hour, but the network will air repeats of their Canadian entertainment news program eTalk and reruns of Hot in Cleveland even though both air in the evenings on the exact same channel.

I reached out to a contact at The Bold and the Beautiful and have been assured that they are looking for a new Canadian broadcaster. While Canadians still have access to the show via CBS, many fans of the soap relied on being able to watch it On Demand, on CTV.ca or via mobile apps — options which will soon no longer exist. In the most recent CTV sales handout on the series, the soap received 3,700,896 online video streams between September 2011 and April 2012.

B&B has been a staple of CTV’s daytime schedule for decades and has averages 1.2 million Canadians a week. Premiering in 1987, B&B served as the
Canadian lead-in to popular NBC soap Another World in the 90s on CTV. CTV’s soap schedule saw a shift in the 00s when it traded in AW replacement Passions to Global for General Hospital, but GH would later end up on City.

While B&B could pop up on Canadian cable (FX Canada did try to air All My Children and One Life to Live last month before their production company cut the episode orders), it would seem more likely for the show to air on one of the main networks, leaving City and Global – who have also already announced their fall schedules. While City airs many hour-long programs, there might be room on Global’s schedule. The 30-minute format would make it an easy fit at 4 p.m., replacing replacing ‘Til Debt Do Us Part reruns and serving as a lead-in to The Young and the Restless. This would also make Global the leading soap broadcaster as it also airs Days of our Lives.

Let CTV know how you feel about their decision to dumb B&B and loading up on talk shows, tweet them @CTV_Television. You can
also tweet to the official Bold and the Beautiful twitter account so producers know there is still an interest from Canadian viewers @boldinsider.

ABC is still facing the backlash after cancelling All My Children and One Life to Live in favour of cheap talk programming like The Chew and The Revolution (with only one show still on the air). Advertisers have learned that viewing habits are stronger with programs that are scripted rather than talk shows which only see peak in viewers due to certain guest bookings or trending topic discussion. So ask yourselves, Bell Media – do you really need nine hours of talk and lifestyle programming on both CTV and CTV Two?

— All soaps are up in the American ratings, but Days of our Lives has posted its best ratings since 2011, reportsVariety. Also to note, Jeanne
Cooper
’s tribute episode was watched by 5.1 million viewers last week on CBS. Further proof that if you actually have quality content, the audience will come.

So please Y&R, get your act together because you’re usually on in the background while I’m playing Candy Crush on my iPhone!

— According to the latest Soaps Uncensored, Y&R might be looking to recast the role of Tucker McCall. Stephen Nichols, who recently returned
to take part in Jeanne Cooper’s tribute, played the role of Katherine Chancellor’s son from 2010 until this January. Another World and Boy Meets World star William Russ originated the role in 2009.

What’s coming up:

All My Children (Hulu/iTunes): Dimitri returns to Pine Valley
Zach is framed for murder. Miranda gets a surprise for her birthday party. Dixie sees a ghost. Brooke offers Dimitri a job as the head of Chandler Enterprises’ new division, Chandler Media, which he accepts.

The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS/CTV): Katie struggles to keep Steffy’s secret from Liam Taylor asks Liam a difficult question. Brooke’s got yet another secret. Thomas annoys Liam by discussing Steffy. Steffy makes a startling revelation to Hope. Maya poses for a new photoshoot. Maya stands up to a blackmailing Bill. Steffy opens up to Liam and later asks Katie for another favour.

Days of our Lives (NBC/Global): Sami is arrested!
Jennifer finds Daniel yelling at J.J. Kristen confronts Nicole after seeing her with Brady. Marlena is upset by John’s admission and tells him that their relationship is over. Kristen vows revenge against Marlena. Sami tries to help Rafe. Sonny makes a suggestion about Gabi and the baby (She’s moving in!). Sami is arrested after she shoots the hitman who was about to kill Rafe (Yes, Mr. Turner from Boy Meets World!). Cameron tells Abigail that he doesn’t want Chad to come between them. J.J. gets an idea. Stefano quietly leaves town.

General Hospital (ABC/City): The hit on Franco goes wrong!
Felix informs Birtt that he plans to expose her. Shawn goes to conceal is riffle when the hit goes terribly wrong. Shawn lies to Alexis. Sonny and Shawn evade Anna. Sam has a confrontation with Silas while awaiting Danny’s test results. Tracy makes a play for control over ELQ. Nik threatens A.J. by exposing what he knows about him and Carly. Laura returns from her honeymoon with Scotty. Ellie makes a discovery. Kiki heads to the Quartermaine mansion. Duke doesn’t trust Ava Jerome.

One Life to Live (Hulu/iTunes): Todd lets Blair in on his plan
Natalie confronts Viki and Clint over the latest news about John. Natalie also visits Tea when John wants custody of Liam. Bo discovers something shocking about Dani’s overdose. Todd lets Blair in on his plan while someone targets them.

The Young and the Restless (CBS/Global): Summer and Kyle go on a date
Nick gets the results of Summer’s paternity test during Summer’s graduation. Lily and Cane try to balance work and family. Chloe is faced with the hard truth. Lauren and Michael try to repair their marriage. Summer and Kyle have their first official date (ew). Nikki encourages Victoria to seek answers. Sharon tries a new way to get over Adam. Leslie and Neil decide to fight fire with fire. Victor issues Adam a warning.

Rants & Raves – plus performers of the week: Days of our Lives

Days of our Lives deserves its recent ratings upswing. It was great for them to climax both of their biggest storylines back to back these past two weeks. It started with Jensen taking Nick and Gabi hostage to Smith Island, to Sonny and Will following with Will setting them free and then Sonny delivering baby Arianna Grace in the woods while Will tried to save Nick, resulting in his getting shot by Jensen to super-cop Hope saving the day and everyone else being rushed to the hospital where Sami confronted Nick and then realizing she’s a grandmother.

Meanwhile, Brady finally caught on to Kristen as her scheme was revealed thanks to Marlena and those creepy kids, Johnny and Ciara! I loved Kristen on the floor when she was begging Brady to take her back and then facing off with Marlena. The next morning in Salem saw a sweet moment between Sami and Hope, with Sami agreeing to keep Ciara’s role in Jensen not being monitored quiet.

While these storylines affected the entire canvas at DAYS, I’d like to give extra kudos to Blake Berris where Nick finally confirmed to what had been alluded to months, he was raped in prison by Jensen. Both confessions, the first with Maggie and the second with Gabi were quite powerful. Also deserving high praise is Eileen Davidson (Kristen) for her chilling scenes with Marlena, John and Brady. I must also add that Casey Moss has been a great find as J.J. – it seems that the writers have finally given a voice to all the viewer complains regarding the horrible Dan and Jennifer pairing through Jack and Jennifer’s son.  I hope the writers and producers keep this up,looking forward to what’s next!

Soap Flashback: Susan Lucci wins her daytime Emmy

It was cool meeting both Susan Lucci and Shemar Moore this week. The pair have some history as Moore presented Lucci with her first ever Emmy back in 1999. “The streak is over!”

 

 

 

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About Author

Jeevan Brar is a digital content producer and freelance entertainment writer based in Toronto. Jeevan has managed The TV Watercooler since 2008, the Canadian blog has focused on daytime soaps, primetime hits and reality TV guilty pleasures. The blog has also connected Canadian soap fans with exclusive interviews with the cast of enduring daytime dramas The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives, General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful. 'Like' The TV Watercooler on Facebook. You can also follow Jeevan on Twitter and Google+.

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