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News for the week of 26-Jan-2015

by Carol Banks Weber

ABC Daytime will resurrect Fan February, a popular 2003-2007 campaign. The campaign involves fans by letting them participate in story development that eventually sees the light of day on-screen, as well as opening up opportunities to insert themselves into the show. Next month, every day will be a special Fan February day.

It sounded like Kelly Monaco (Sam) helped nudge TPTB into SamTrick (Sam & Patrick’s pairing) and picking up Billy Miller as the recast Jason fresh from Y&R (as Billy, Victoria’s guy) — even though she stressed (in so many words) that she didn’t have that kind of power. In a January 22, 2015 interview with Michael Fairman, the 15-year daytime actress touched on all the hot topics related to her role, and then some.

Monaco said that she and Jason Thompson (Patrick) “have been fighting for that for a long time, since Steve Burton left, basically,” but had to wait out TPTB’s friendship stall before finally receiving the green light, recently. “Jason Thompson is my friend in real life, and he’s my family.  So it’s really great working with him – it’s fresh and new, and we hadn’t had the opportunity to interact like that on-screen before.  There is a trust there that you can make out on-screen, or whatever. I am not taking anything away from Michael Easton. I have known him for 15 years, but if they were going to shift me and put me somewhere, I am glad they put me in Jason’s arms.”

As for snagging Billy Miller, Monaco said she practically begged for him to be the new Jason — after giving him and a few friends a ride to some racing event, right after he ended his Y&R tenure. “I drove him, (but I didn’t know him then) to the horse race along with some friends, but he was in my car,” Monaco explained. “And so, I got to hang out with them that day. I remember saying to a friend of mine at the time, ‘If anyone is going to play Jason, it’s going to be him!’ I just felt something from him as Billy, and of course, I went and watched a bunch of his work, and it was great. So, I went to our executive producer Frank Valentini, and I pleaded with him. … I really also felt that if it’s not going to be Billy, then it’s not going to be anybody. I am not saying I had a hand in hiring him, but through the powers-that-be, lo and behold, Billy was here.”

There’s a lot more to Monaco’s interview — it’s Michael Fairman, after all — including her love, devotion, trust in, and respect for other co-stars, and wishing her character would STFU sometimes. Go check it out.

Kelly Monaco (Sam) even talked up her upcoming, February 4th guest appearance on Baby Daddy in an episodic trade. Actors from the ABC Family comedy series came over to GH for an appearance, and Monaco went over there playing herself, fictionalized somewhat (if she were a bitch, she said, this is who she’d be in that guest appearance). Tune into Baby Daddy Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m., ET/PT. Details provided by Zap2it’s Jean Bentley from her January 22, 2015 post.

Not really sure what the point was of Michael Fairman’s January 18, 2015 On-Air On-Soaps video interview with Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) and William deVry (Julian), other than to see these two charismatic actors interact IRL, kidding around, laying the praise, deflecting the praise (NLG!), previewing upcoming story surprises (“I think there is some good stuff coming up, and some some curve balls coming our way, but I think Julexis fans will have some things to chew off the bone … let’s put it that way” — deVry), and glimpsing the camaraderie behind the scenes of this soap. Oh, and to promote Grahn’s new digital series, GH Now! on ABC.com.

Maybe it’s not GH in that SOD blind item (about a soap planning to cut its bloated cast), since TPTB just hired a Kiki recast, another former Y&R actress too. Hayley Erin (ex-Abby, 2008-2010, pre-Emme Rylan/NuLulu) takes over the role left by Kristen Alderson (also Starr, OLTL).

GH casting director Mark Teschner won in his daytime drama series category January 22 at the 30th annual Artios Awards/Casting Society of America (CSA). It’s his seventh win, much deserved. He beat out Y&R’s Judy Blye Wilson and Greg Salmon, and DOOL’s Marnie Saitta and Bob Lambert. Casting directors in the entertainment business received their honors in both L.A. and New York ceremonies.

GLAAD left out the CBS soaps in its Media Awards nominations, probably because Y&R and B&B have done jack sh*t in responsibly and compellingly portraying the LGBT community in their stories. For the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards, GH and DOOL received nominations in an announcement last week, GH for the love triangle with Lucas, Felix, and Brad, and DOOL for the love story of Sonny and Will, who got married last year. Winners take home their trophies March 21 at L.A.’s Beverly Hilton and May 9 at the Waldorf Astoria New York.

Do you want to see most of the GH cast — Ian Buchanan (Duke), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas), Wally Kurth (Ned), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), Rick Hearst (Ric), Kathleen Gati (Dr. Liesl Obrecht), William deVry (Julian), Laura Wright (Carly), Ryan Paevey (Nathan), Michelle Stafford (Nina) — live in person? Maybe even meet them? They’re all scheduled for the two-hour Fantasy Weekend 2 show, April 12, at East Hanover, N.J.’s Ramada/FairBridge Hotel. You could win two VIP tickets, which includes a group photo-taking moment. Come here.

Gossip for the week of 26-Jan-2015

by Carol Banks Weber

Jake kidnaps Sam again, but on his own authority, and to protect her from incoming harm. That’s according to GH Happenings’ latest Rumorville. Also in the January 24, 2015 posting, don’t look for sparks to re-ignite. Nothing much comes of it, other than a non-fatal bullet into Teflon-Jake. Something else… “Someone else who is undercover is on the scene in Port Charles…” Rosalie?

The buzz online is that Bradford Anderson just signed a one-year contract to return as Spinelli.

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