Beloved TV Soaps Revived Online Starting This Week
Taped to a wall at the entrance to the Connecticut Film Center in Stamford is this greeting: "Welcome (back) to Pine Valley."
Pine Valley, of course, is the mythical setting of "All My Children," a daytime drama that ran on ABC for nearly 41 years until it was snuffed in 2011.
But now, in one of those plot twists so common to soap operas but so rare in the real world, "All My Children" has been raised from the dead.
Was its cancellation just a bad dream, from which the show is now awakening? In any case, "AMC" will be back starting Monday with much of its august cast intact (including David Canary, Julia Barr, Jill Larson, Debbi Morgan and Cady McClain, and perhaps even Susan Lucci eventually returning to the fold), along with shiny new actors to add more pizazz.
But this time, "AMC" will not be on a broadcast network. It will be online.
So will "One Life to Live," another venerable soap cut down by ABC after 44 seasons. It, too, will spring back to life on Monday. (Welcome back to Llanview, everybody!) Returning fan favorites include Erika Slezak, Robert S. Woods, Robin Strasser and Hillary B. Smith, each of whom has logged decades on the show.
Each serial will unveil four daily half-hours per week, plus a recap/behind-the-scenes episode on Fridays, with 42 weeks of original programming promised for the first year.
They will be available for streaming on computers on the Hulu website. Subscribers to Hulu Plus can watch on a variety of other devices. And the episodes will be available for purchase on iTunes.
This resurrection could reverse the doomsday plot that has plagued soaps for decades as their viewership withered and their numbers sank (there are only four left on the broadcast networks; there were a dozen in 1991).
And it is somehow fitting that TV's oldest genre, carried over from radio, should now be making the transition to a 21st-century online platform complete with Agnes Nixon, who created both shows, as a digital pioneer. It's a potentially restorative move that could prove the TV medium failed soaps, not the other way around.
Meanwhile, the drama will adapt to its new medium.
"We don't want to totally reinvent the wheel, but we want to make the wheel turn better and turn quicker," Pepperman says.
"AMC" executive producer Ginger Smith echoes Pepperman from her office a few steps away at the just-moved-in-looking, bustling headquarters the two shows share.
"We want to keep the core," says Smith, who has risen on "AMC" from production assistant in 1988. "I still want escapism and romance, but we're going to have stories that are sometimes a little darker and edgier than we did on ABC."
CATHERINE ZETA-JONES: Checks in to Treament Facility for Bipolar Disorder
(Photo: Janet Mayer/Splash News Online)
Catherine Zeta-Jones checked in to a treatment center Monday for her bipolar disorder.
TMZ says the 43-year-old is expected to complete a 30-day program and that it's a proactive measure. As one source puts it, "It's maintenance."
Catherine last completed a stint at a treatment center in 2011. At the time, her rep said Catherine had "made the decision to check in to a mental health facility for a brief stay to treat her bipolar II disorder."
Alexandra Raisman & Mark Ballas Join 10 Club
(Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC)
The ballroom heated up on Monday night's Latin-themed Dancing with the Stars.
Seven weeks into the competition, almost all of the remaining couples came up with impressive routines. But it was Alexandra Raisman and Mark Ballas who landed their first 10s of the season, with a salsa that Len Goodman – who gave the pair a nine – called, "tasty and refreshing."
The pair got 10s from the other two judges, which put them at a total of 29 points out of 30. They also received an additional three points for winning a dance-off against Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess.
Raisman and Ballas tied with regular high-scoring duo, Derek Hough and Kellie Pickler, who wowed judges with their samba to Ricky Martin's "Shake Your Bon Bon."
But at the end of the night, even though Pickler and Hough were in a tie, they were the ones declared free from Tuesday night's elimination because they had the highest cumulative score of the season.
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff and Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy also tied with 27 points each. Jones and Smirnoff performed a salsa that Goodman called "first rate," while Zendaya and Chmerkovskiy executed an impressive paso doble, though judge Carrie Ann Inaba said it was "missing was a little bit of the depth."
The two couples teamed up against each other in the dance off, with Zendaya and Chmerkovskiy scoring the three extra points for their jive.
Sean Lowe, who struggled in the bottom two last week, bounced back this week, performing a sexy rumba with partner Peta Murgatroyd to Enrique Iglesias's "Hero." The pair earned 24 points on his fiancé Catherine Giudici's birthday.
"Well, well, well, Sean, who's the 'Hero' now?" Inaba said. "That was just wonderful."
At the bottom of the leader board were Ingo Rademacher and Dick. The General Hospital
But Rademacher and Johnson won a dance-off against Murgatroyd and Lowe, landing three extra points for their rumba.
Results will be announced Tuesday!
Sailendra Nath Roy dies in India
Sailendra Nath Roy, 48, was performing the feat on the Teesta river in West Bengal
Hundreds of spectators watched his last moments in horror.
In March 2011, Mr Roy was named a Guinness World Record holder for travelling the farthest distance on a zip wire using hair.
He worked as a driver for the police.
Mr Roy was trying to cross the Coronation Bridge
A large number of people had gathered on the bridge to watch the feat.
Witnesses said that Mr Roy appeared to make no progress after covering about 300ft (90m).
"He was desperately trying to move forward. He was trying to scream out some instruction. But no one could follow what he was saying. After struggling for 30 minutes he became still," said Balai Sutradhar, a photographer, who was covering the stunt.
Police said he was hanging for nearly 45 minutes before he was brought down.
Doctors at the hospital said he had suffered a "massive heart attack".
Mr Roy had arrived at the riverside on Sunday morning and set up the zip wire from the bridge with help from friends.
He was wearing a life jacket, but there were no doctors or emergency services on the spot.
Police said that Mr Roy had not got permission to do the stunt.
A friend, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: "His wife used to urge him to quit doing dangerous stunts. Mr Roy convinced her that crossing the Teesta river would be his last. Unfortunately, that became his last stunt."
In 2008, Mr Roy pulled the Darjeeling
And in 2007, his ponytail tied to a rope, he flew from one building to another in front of television cameras.
TAKE YOUR SWIMSUIT SHOTS OFF FACEBOOK
If you have photos of you, your friends or anyone you know in swimsuits on your Facebook page, and you don't want the whole world to have access to them, take them off the site immediately! There's a new app that's about to be released called Pikini, which automatically finds swimsuit photos on Facebook and organizes them for you by location, interests or even friends.
Creepers using the app can even save photos they really like for their viewing enjoyment. Apparently, the site is supposedly for women, too – it can locate men's swimsuit photos as well – but chances are high that since they are beta-ing the app with guys in different fraternities across the country, it's really created by men for men – and it's creepy! (Gurl)
Hottest New Fad in Plastic Surgery: the 'Arm Lift'
Facelifts and nose jobs are old news: The cosmetic surgery of the moment, it seems, is the "arm lift." Brachioplasties have soared 4,728% over the past decade, says the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, even as overall cosmetic surgeries have fallen 16% since 2000. While other forms of cosmetic surgery remain far more common—just 15,000 arm lifts were performed last year—a surgeon tells the New York Daily News that brachioplasties are likely to keep growing. T
The procedure, which can be done in a single day, involves removing excess skin from armpit to elbow, often along with liposuction. "Arms are kind of 'in' in terms of looking good," the surgeon says (see: Obama, Michelle). Why the trendiness? More people are quickly losing large amounts of weight, leaving extra skin hanging around. But the doctor doesn't recommend the surgery for people who are 20 or 30 pounds too heavy. "This operation leaves a visible scar, and most people can tighten up their arms with diet and exercise." What's more, the procedure costs about $5,000, USA Today notes.
Photo: via Us Magazine - Jason Merritt / Getty
They just announced their separation, but Jason Aldean has filed for divorce from his wife, Jessica, after 11 years of marriage. The papers were filed in a Williamson County, Tennessee court on Friday. Jason cites irreconcilable differences for the cause of the split. He issued a statement yesterday – you can read below...
"This is a really tough time for my entire family. Jessica and I have been together since we were teenagers. We've been through a lot of ups and downs over the years as we grew up together as a couple. She will always be important to me because she is the mother of my children, and I know that we will both always make our daughters our #1 priority. I've learned that everyone always rushes to judgment when they hear news like this. That's really hard because no one knows anything about our relationship but us. I understand that because of my job, I have to go through a lot of this in the public eye, but for my girls' sake I really wish people would give us some level of privacy and at the very least be respectful of them."
Photo: BNA / Blue Chair Records
Kenny Chesney’s new album, Life On A Rock, is in stores today! Kenny wrote or co-wrote eight of the 10 songs on the new CD. Catch Kenny perform later tonight on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
Photo: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
The cause of George Jones’ death has been revealed. He passed away due to respiratory failure. His funeral will be held Thursday in Nashville.
Photo: Stoney Creek Records
Brantley Gilbert has been working on new music for his upcoming album – and while it’s a tedious process – this is how things have worked to his benefit in the past. Brantley says the only thing that makes it easy is that he knows exactly what he wants.
Photo: Arista Nashville
Carrie Underwood is on a roll after scoring three consecutive #1 hits from her Blown Away album…and she plans to do it again with her new single, “See You Again”. Carrie actually co-wrote the song several years ago for a different project…but was thankful it found a home on her latest album. Carrie actually co-wrote the song several years ago for The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.