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Leo Richardson ... (creator)
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"The great and the least,|
The rich and the poor,
The weak and the strong.
In sickness and in health,
In joy and sorrow,
In tragedy and triumph,
These are all your children."
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All My Children 1
All My Children 2
All My Children 3
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Kelly Ripa celebrates 20 years on Live, gives details on potential All My Children prime-time revival(2/5/21) (ew.com) Kelly Ripa "never, ever" thought about becoming a morning talk-show mainstay. Yet, two decades after replacing Kathie Lee Gifford as Regis Philbin's cohost on the iconic Live, Ripa is still going strong on the rise-and-shine perennial, with five Daytime Emmy awards for Outstanding Host to boot. "It happened to me by accident," the onetime soap star, 50, recalls. While still on All My Children, she was asked to fill in on Live in November 2000 for a guest host who had a family emergency. In the process, Ripa instantly became a frontrunner to replace Gifford.
"The show had really reached an iconic level of pop culture where everyone knew Regis and Kathie Lee. ... Everyone was really questioning, could we go on?" executive producer Michael Gelman, who's often seen behind the cameras, interacting with the hosts, recalls. "Kelly immediately lit up the room, and we knew there was something special. There was a certain charisma and humor and quickness that was really innate — because she wasn't an experienced broadcaster at the time. She just had that It Factor."
She still does. But on that first official day (above) — Feb. 5, 2001 — Ripa admits to thinking "I have no idea what I'm doing" and receiving little direction along the way. Perhaps for the better. "It was just sort of, 'This is your job now. Good luck, and godspeed," she explains. "It really is one of those places where they give you autonomy. There's guidance, of course — they'll tell you, 'Please don't bring up so-and-so's arrest.' Sure. Or, 'Please don't mention...' whatever. But it really was an autonomous situation where I learned on the fly how to do that job because I didn't really have a lot of time. I guest-hosted that first time, [and] I think I guest-hosted two other times, and then I started working there."
Unlike the anticipation surrounding the announcement of Philbin's replacement, Michael Strahan in 2012 ("It was just, build, build, build, build, build, build, build, build, build... it was just an epic build," she says of the former NFL star landing the job), there wasn't nearly as much fanfare on her first day. "I don't think anybody was even expecting me to be the replacement host. It was really not a big announcement, it was just sort of, 'She is my new cohost," and it was business as usual," Ripa — who Philbin nicknamed Pippa — remembers.
But one person in particular made it special. "The one person who wasn't there, which was Kathie Lee," sent Ripa flowers and a note, she recalls, telling the then 30-year-old — who was pregnant with her second child, Lola — "'it's going to be the ride of your life... you're so cut out for this, and have a wonderful time.'"
Philbin and Gifford had been cohosts since 1985, when the show was still a local morning program on New York's ABC station. (The two and their families were close off-camera as well; Gifford visited with Philbin two weeks before he died last July.) So while there may have been pressure on Ripa to replicate the magic of Philbin and Gifford's dynamic, she didn't allow herself to feel it.
"I never think anything is that important, but I did not want to be the person that ruined a show with such a storied history. I would hate for it to be a show that's been on the air for 15 years and suddenly goes off the air the day I get there. That would be a bad legacy," she says. "I think I didn't let myself ponder the notion of the significance of it because if I did, I probably wouldn't have gotten out of bed every morning — it would have been too scary for me to think about."
Ten years later, though, Ripa found herself in Philbin's shoes, facing an uncertain future on the show that had made her a household name as she — and America — prepared to say goodby to him. It's Philbin's last episode (above) that she remembers perhaps more than any other. "His final show was significant," she says. "We were terrified, all of us."
After Strahan's four-year stint, moving on to GMA where he's now co-anchor, Ripa welcomed a rotation of guest-cohosts for more than a year before Ryan Seacrest — who has known Ripa since the two of them and Philbin cohosted ABC's Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade some 15 years ago — officially accepted the position. The American Idol host left Los Angeles, where he hosted (and still does) the city's top-rated morning radio show on KIIS-FM, for the NYC-based gig, a decision made easier by Ripa.
"She really made it very clear to me how the show worked, how the schedule worked, what the team was like," Seacrest, 46, explains. "It gave me a sense of comfort knowing that she and I could speak directly and candidly about the role, and how it works and what she is looking for in that person. The chemistry with us wasn't the difficult part, the relationship wasn't the difficult part — the trickiest part was just figuring out and working into the puzzle having to move to New York City, which we did. And thankfully, it's been a great decision."
When he started in July 2017, Ripa says Seacrest brought with him "all of his tricks" as a broadcaster. "He is very, very precise, in a way that is extraordinary," she says of his hosting abilities, explaining how he's made her more aware of the timing of the show. Not to mention how he took their "little local New York show" and turned into it "big time, Hollywood, on the marquee."
But at the essence of Live is the show's first 15-20 minutes known as the "host chat," made famous by Philbin, who "was such a character" — always the "foil" and "person that screwed up" in his anecdotes, Ripa says. "He really gave me the gift of learning how to tell a story in a way that is so funny and so free of ego."
And that tradition lives on today, thanks to Ripa.
"She always comes ready to play," Seacrest says, describing how she has made him a better host. "She always has a story to tell, she's always got a joke, she's always got a reaction. And she brings incredible energy and honesty and candor to the show. She's probably made me more comfortable, just talking about myself — which I don't do on American Idol, I do a little bit more on the radio — being more vulnerable and more comfortable sitting back in the chair and having a conversation, versus performing. It's less hosting and more companionship conversation."
But these three-and-a-half years with Seacrest by her side may not have happened were it not for him filling the empty seat next to her. In the midst of her 4,000-plus Live episodes and the same number of famous "host chats," after countless celebrity interviews and Halloween costumes, after learning how to ride a bike and facing her fear of roller coasters on air, after the departure of Philbin and then Strahan, she "was very much considering retirement," says Seacrest, adding he hopes "she wants to stay there for many years." For her part, Ripa credits her current cohost's "enthusiasm and his excitement" for changing her mind. "The two of us are partners," she says. "There's this energy between us because we both appreciate the amount of work that goes into making a show look effortless."
Their off-screen friendship largely contributes. Ripa says it's more than that. "It's gone beyond just the work relationship where we're actually like family," she points out, telling a story about how she was buying T-shirts for her sons in a big Mr. Porter end-of-year sale and Ryan also needed new T-shirts, so she bought some for him too. While Ripa says Seacrest joining the show was like her "brother [was] coming to work," they've also adopted that common workplace phrase for each other: work spouses. "We share everything with each other, on the show and off the show," her work husband says. "It's an interesting dynamic. I'm very close to her husband as well. Mark [Consuelos] and I speak often in text, often talk to each other, about life and things that we're working on or things that we want to do."
If one were to look for the secret to her success and longevity at ABC, family may be the key. Her actual family — husband Mark and children Michael, Lola, and Joaquin. Her work family. Her TV audience family. Her relationship with the latter is one she's been cultivating for 30 years at the network (she celebrated that milestone on Live in November), dating back to her debut as Hayley Vaughn on All My Children in 1990. And that may be coming full circle with a possible prime-time reboot of the iconic daytime soap, which was announced in December.
"We would be the parents, and this show is really more about the children of Pine Valley," Ripa explains of how the original cast would figure into the new series. "It's a darker look at things, and I'm very excited about it. It was pitched to us and we were like, 'We will absolutely produce this. And we want to be a part of it.' Immediately we called [former All My Children costar Eva LaRue], all of our friends, and we started saying, 'Just be at the ready. Get ready.' "
While fans undoubtedly are also ready to return to the fictional Philadelphia suburb, Ripa sounds just as anxious, for one major reason. "[All My Children] is responsible for every singular good thing that has happened in my life. I met my husband there, I had my children there – not in the studio but pretty close; they kept you there until your contractions were five minutes apart, as we like to say," she jokes. "It's from there that I got the talk show. It's from there that I got [Hope & Faith].... and our first production deal [at TLC]. So it's truly responsible for every good thing in my life that's happened to me."
And that is something to talk about.
"ALL MY CHILDREN" Game Night with Susan Lucci | Stars in the House, Thursday 2/4(2/4/21) (Video) ALL MY CHILDREN Game Night - Join James and Seth with special guests Susan Lucci, Christian Campbell, Norm Lewis, Richard Roland and Eric Woodall
Susan Lucci to star in Amazon's faith-based series 'Wholly Broken'(2/3/21) (newsday.com) The onetime queen of daytime soaps is ready to begin her reign on Amazon Prime Video.
Daytime Emmy Award winner Susan Lucci, 74, is set to star in "Wholly Broken," a faith-based musical series created by fellow Garden City-based performer Tom Humbert. In the series, Lucci will play a congresswoman whose husband was killed by a drunken driver. Further drama will revolve around her strained relationship with her neglected son, who has several addictions and is possibly bipolar.
"Broken" is based on Humbert's 2016 movie of the same name, which began streaming on Amazon in September. The story follows Pastor Tom (Humbert), a recovering alcoholic minister, who is trying to rebuild his life after losing his job and his wife. The movie took the best feature film USA award at the 2017 International Film Festival Manhattan.
The series, which will shoot in the Hamptons between August and October, will be something of a TV mother-and-child reunion: Alicia Minshew, who played Lucci's daughter for eight years on "All My Children," co-stars as Pastor Tom's estranged wife. Also in the cast is Baldwin's Martha Wash of The Weather Girls.
Viewers will even get the chance to hear Lucci sing on the show, although she's no stranger to musicals. In December 1999, she played sharpshooter Annie Oakley opposite Tom Wopat in "Annie Get Your Gun" for three weeks on Broadway.
Humbert said the series is slated to premiere sometime next year, though a trailer is already out. He also can't wait to work with his famous co-star.
"I'm so excited to get Susan Lucci for this show," Humbert said. "This has been a dream."
Talk Show Appearance(1/27/21) THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON - NBC
Wednesday, February 3: Guests include Kelly Ripa
Ellen Pompeo Producing Limited Series Based On Elin Hilderbrand’s ‘Paradise’ Trilogy In Works At ABC(1/25/21) ABC is developing Winter In Paradise, a limited series based on the first book in Elin Hilderbrand’s bestelling Paradise trilogy, from husband-and-wife writing team André and Maria Jacquemetton (Mad Men), Ellen Pompeo and her Calamity Jane production company, Andrew Stearn Productions and ABC Signature, where Calamity Jane and Andrew Stearn Prods. are based.
Written by the Jacquemettons, based on Elin Hilderbrand’s Paradise trilogy, the series tells the story of a husband’s secret life and a wife’s new beginning. Irene Steele shares her idyllic life in a beautiful Iowa City Victorian house with a husband who loves her to an extreme. But when her husband dies in a perplexing manner, Irene soon learns that her husband has been living a secret life with an entirely separate family on the distant Caribbean island of St. John. As Irene untangles a web of intrigue and deceit, and as she and her sons find themselves drawn into the vibrant island culture, they have to face the truth about their family and their future.
André and Maria Jacquemetton executive produce with Pompeo and Laura Holstein for Calamity Jane, Andrew Stearn for Andrew Stearn Productions and Hilderbrand.
Hilderbrand’s Paradise trilogy is comprised of the novels Winter In Paradise, released in 2018, followed by What Happens In Paradise and Troubles in Paradise in 2020, published by Little, Brown and Company. Another book by Hilderbrand, 28 Summers, is being adapted by MRC Film.
André and Maria Jacquemetton served as key writers-producers on all six seasons of Matt Weiner’s Mad Men, rising to executive producers for the final two seasons and sharing in the show’s three Drama Series Emmy Awards. They also served as consulting producers on Weiner’s The Romanoffs.
Pompeo stars in and produces ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, which is currently in its 17th season. She also serves as co-executive producer on Grey’s spinoff Station 19.
Through his overall deal at ABC Signature, Stearn also is shepherding an All My Children primetime sequel, Pine Valley, which is in the works at ABC.
Hilderbrand is repped by UTA, Michael Carlisle & David Forrer at Inkwell Management, and attorney Christine Cuddy at Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo. Pompeo is repped by CAA, John Carrabino Management, and Hansen Jacobson Teller. Maria and André Jacquemetton are repped by Dan Halsted at Manage-ment and attorney Wayne Alexander. Stearn is repped by attorney Abel Lezcano at Del Shaw Moonves.
Mark Consuelos Dishes About AMC Reboot(1/22/21) (soapoperadigest.com) On today’s episode of THE TALK, Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo, ALL MY CHILDREN) dished about the prime-time reboot of AMC that he’s working on with wife Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley). “Man, you know, ALL MY CHILDREN was such a big part of my life and my wife’s life, and you know, I met my wife there, obviously, had kids and became a young man on that show,” he said. “We got the opportunity to, uh, reboot the prime time version and the idea was brought to us and we’re so excited. Of all the things that we’ve ever announced that we’re going to do this is one of the most, the biggest responses we’ve gotten from our fans, they’re so excited. It’s been a big piece of TV that’s been missing for such a long time and we’re going to bring it back and I’m excited about it.” As far as who we can expect to see, Consuelos demurred, “I think those decisions are way above my pay scale but I know they’re going to bring back some fan favorites and it will take place in Pine Valley and I’m really, really excited.”
Stars Of ABC’s ‘All My Children’, ‘One Life To Live’ & ‘General Hospital’ Reunite For Streaming Concert Benefit(1/14/21) Stars of ABC’s classic daytime dramas All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital will reunite next month to present a streaming concert of their past musical performances benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway will gather musical performances by soap stars including Susan Lucci, Anthony Geary and Eva La Rue during the seven annual benefit concerts staged in New York from 2005-11. The daytime actors will revisit the performances in new interviews as part of the special.
The special will stream free of charge on February 11. See viewing options below. The lineup of performers includes Bobbie Eakes, Melissa Claire Egan, Vincent Irizarry, Eva La Rue, Susan Lucci, Cameron Mathison, Eden Riegel, Chrishell Stause and Walt Willey (from All My Children); Kristen Alderson, BethAnn Fuenmayor, Kathy Brier, Kassie DePaiva, David Gregory, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Catherine Hickland, Mark Lawson, Hillary B. Smith, Jason Tam and Brittany Underwood (One Life To Live); and Bradford Anderson, Brandon Barash and Anthony Geary (General Hospital).
“There are no fans like ABC Daytime fans,” said Lucci in a statement. “Their love and support continue to astonish us. We can’t wait to share these special performances with them and help raise money for so many in need during this difficult time.”
The concerts were staged at New York City’s Town Hall, and included production numbers, Broadway show tunes, ballads and comedy skits. The concert series began in 2005 as a one-night-only benefit to mark the 35th anniversary of All My Children, but fan support prompted ABC to stage the annual event for another six years. Over its seven-year run, ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares raised $1.85 million.
Tom Viola, Broadway Cares Executive Director, said, “We are so thankful to the stars from ABC Daytime for joining us again as we relive moments from this delightful tradition, while helping to provide lifesaving medication, healthy meals and emergency support to those struggling during this ongoing pandemic.”
This free streamed event can be viewed beginning Feb. 11, 8 pm ET, here, as well as on Broadway Cares’ YouTube channel, across ABC Owned Television Stations’ 32 connected TV apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku and each of the eight station’s websites around the country, including abc7ny.com in New York; and on Good Morning America’s Facebook page.
While the stream is free, donations will be accepted for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, with all proceeds to provide people affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other critical illnesses with healthy meals, lifesaving medication, emergency financial assistance, housing, counseling and more. The donations also support and champion organizations focused on social justice and anti-racism.
All My Children Primetime Sequel Series in Development at ABC, From Soap Vets Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos(12/17/20) (tvline.com) Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are raising Kane — maybe even Erica.
The married alumni of daytime’s All My Children are among the team working on a primetime continuation of the long-running soap opera, our sister site Deadline reports.
The new project is titled Pine Valley, aka the Pennsylvania community in which AMC was set. It will center on a young reporter with a secret agenda who arrives in town to bring Pine Valley’s deadly history to light. But, naturally, the young journalist gets tied up in a feud between the Santos and Kane families.
Per Deadline, the prospective show will have a heightened tone, and a relationship to soaps similar to Jane the Virgin‘s relationship to telenovelas. The bulk of the cast would be new characters, with some familiar faces —including Consuelos and Ripa — possibly sprinkled in.
Ripa and Consuelos played Hayley and Mateo Santos on the original daytime drama, which ran for more than four decades on ABC before a brief stint of new episodes that premiered online via The Online Network. Its biggest star, Susan Lucci, portrayed Erica Kane for the entire ABC run.
Along with Consuelos and Ripa, the project’s executive producers include Andrew Stearn (Shameless); Leo Richardson (EastEnders, Star), who also will write the script; and Robert Nixon, son of late AMC creator Agnes Nixon. ABC Signature will produce.
‘All My Children’ Eyes ABC Return With Primetime Sequel ‘Pine Valley’ In the Works From Andrew Stearn, Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos(12/17/20) (deadline.com) An iconic daytime drama is getting a primetime makeover. ABC is in early development on Pine Valley, a primetime version of the network’s beloved daytime drama All My Children, with popular alums Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos executive producing alongside Andrew Stearn and filmmaker Robert Nixon, son of the late AMC creator Agnes Nixon.
In the All My Children followup, written/executive produced by Leo Richardson (Katy Keene, Star), a young journalist with a secret agenda comes to expose the dark and murderous history of a town named Pine Valley only to become entangled in a feud between the Kane and Santos families. The seres explores all the secrets that come with the Kane and Santos family names.
Kane was one of AMC’s founding families, with Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) becoming one of television’s most popular characters. Ripa and Consuelos, who played Hayley & Mateo Santos on the original series, executive produce via their Milojo Productions alongside the company’s Albert Bianchini. Stearn executive produces through his Andrew Stearn Productions. The company is based at ABC Signature, which is the studio on the project.
Pine Valley will feature a new generation of characters and some old favorites. There are currently no deals in place with original cast members but the plan is to invite a number of them to make an appearance, with Ripa and Consuelos also possible making a cameo.
Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children aired for 41 years on ABC from January 5, 1970 to September 23, 2011, originally in a half-hour format before expanding to hourlong episodes in 1977. The series was set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictional suburb of Philadelphia, which is modeled on the actual Philadelphia suburb of Rosemont.
Pine Valley plans to continue the original series’ legacy of tackling difficult issues and being inclusive. AMC was the first series to comprehensively address the Vietnam War and to have a character undergo a legal abortion. The soap also featured a transgender storyline a decade and a half ago.
As it will be in primetime, Pine Valley will have a heightened tone and will wink to the daytime soap genre similar to how the CW’s Jane the Virgin paid homage to telenovelas.
Stearn has been the driving force behind Pine Valley. A lifelong fan, he watched All My Children growing up. Last year, when he was deciding between ABC Signature and one other studio for an overall deal, he chose ABC Signature because it was going to allow him to pursue his dream of rebooting All My Children. He started working toward that goal on Day 1 of his deal, beginning with tracking down the rights.
Originally owned by Creative Horizons, the company created by Agnes Nixon and her husband, Bob, the show was sold to ABC in January 1975. Shortly after All My Children‘s cancellation by ABC to make room for talk show The Chew, the rights to it and fellow departed ABC daytime soap One Life To Live were acquired by Prospect Park with the idea to continue the shows as web series. After some major hurdles, new episodes of All My Children started taping in Feb. 2013. By November the show had been canceled again. The rights subsequently reverted to ABC after a legal battle.
With the support of ABC Signature’s Tracy Underwood and the network’s then-head of daytime William Burton, Stearn pitched his idea for a primetime incarnation of the classic daytime drama to then-President of ABC Entertainment Karey Burke, who recently transitioned to a new role as President of 20th Television. She gave the concept thumbs-up, and Stearn proceeded to build a creative team. He brought in as executive producers All My Children alumni Ripa, who has a long history at Disney-ABC, and Consuelos.
After meeting with a number of writers, Stearn went with Leo Richardson, who had worked on long-running primetime soap EastEnders in his native Britain. Stearn also got on board the estate of Agnes Nixon, with son Robert Nixon joining the project as an executive producer.
Under his deal, Stearn executive produces the newly picked up ABC drama series Rebel, starring Katey Sagal, which is currently in production.
Milojo has Mexican Gothic in the works at Hulu and ABC comedy pilot Work Wife starring and executive produced by Kelly Ripa, which is based on her and Live co-host, Ryan Seacrest’s relationship. Michael Halpern, Milojo Productions’ Director of Development, oversees Pine Valley for the company.