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News, Cast Updates and Scoop(News section last updated January 11, 2019)
Dishing with Digest - 1/11/19 - Gina Tognoni(1/11/19) Y&R’s Gina Tognoni (Phyllis) Reflects On Her Soap Career (Listen / download)
Y&R’s Gina Tognoni chats about her Genoa City leading men, her memories of GL and OLTL and more with Digest’s Stephanie Sloane and Mara Levinsky. Plus, we talk about the importance of shows’ opening credits.
Ryan Phillippe slapped with almost $800 fine in Elsie Hewitt suit(1/10/19) Ryan Phillippe will be paying up in his lawsuit with ex-girlfriend Elise Hewitt.
A judge ordered the actor to pay Hewitt’s lawyers $790 for failing to turn over his text messages with ex-wife Reese Witherspoon before the court-ordered deadline, The Blast reports. The judge previously sanctioned him $1,580 for not turning in the messages at an earlier date.
The model believes that the text messages will help her case against him.
Hewitt, 22, first sued Phillippe, 44, for $1 million in September 2017. She alleged that he punched and kicked her before throwing her down a flight of stairs in July of that year. She also claimed that he “repeatedly abused a panoply of legal and illegal drugs, including without limitation: cocaine, ecstasy, psychedelic mushrooms and steroids.”
He previously denied her allegations, saying that he believes he is being extorted.
Phillippe’s rep and lawyer did not return our request for comment.
Talk Show Appearance(1/5/19) The Talk – CBS
Wednesday, Jan. 9
Actress Judith Light discusses her upcoming television film
Dishing with Digest - Linda Dano - 1/4/19(1/4/19) (Listen/download) Linda Dano Reflects On Daytime Career
Beloved soap vet Linda Dano looks back on her ANOTHER WORLD years as Felicia Gallant, her friendship with Stephen Schnetzer (ex-Cass), her jump to ABC and more with Digest’s Stephanie Sloane and Mara Levinsky. We also discuss Ingo Rademacher’s upcoming departure from B&B and what it means for the canvas.
Farah Fath Welcomes a Beautiful Baby Boy(1/3/19) (Photo) Congratulations to actress Farah Fath and husband Phil Galfond, who welcomed a beautiful baby boy in time for the new year! Fath, who soap fans remember as Gigi Morasco on ONE LIFE TO LIVE as well as Mimi Lockhart on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, originally announced her pregnancy back in June and at the time was expecting their bundle of joy to be the best Christmas gift ever. But instead, Spencer Keith Galfond was born on Dec. 31, weighing eight pounds, five ounces. “This came out of me, finally,” Fath tweeted. “Loving him lots.” She also shared the photo of her little miracle on Instagram, adding: “New Year’s Eve was a different kind of party this year.”
At the end of June, Fath was delighted to reveal that her first child was going to be a boy, but by the following month, among the photos of her growing baby bump, the expectant mom was also confessing how difficult this pregnancy had been for her. But Spencer is just gorgeous and well worth all the suffering she went through. All the best to the happy family, and we can’t wait for the proud parents to share even more beautiful photos of their baby boy as he grows up!
Donald Moffat Dies: Prolific Actor For Broadway, TV And Film Was 87(12/23/18) Donald Moffat, a character actor who appeared on Broadway, television and film, died Thursday in Sleepy Hollow, New York. He was 87 and passed from complications of a recent stroke, according to his daughter.
In a career that spanned close to 50 years, he appeared in 80 stage plays (directing 10 others), 70 Hollywood and television movies, and at least 60 television productions. His range extended from Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh on Broadway (where he played Larry Slade) to the film A Clear And Present Danger to episodes of the TV series Mannix, Ironside, Gunsmoke and The Defenders.
Moffat was born in Plymouth, Devon to parents who ran a boarding home while the father sold insurance. He later studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
He moved to the US at age 26 after serving in World War II and began his career in the Association of Producing Artists, a repertory company on Broadway. He was nominated for a Best Actor Tony for his 1967 roles in revivals of Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck and Pirandello’s Right You Are If You Think You Are.
That was the start of a career that ran from Off-Broadway to Broadway, playing roles as everything from an attorney to US President Ulysses S. Grant.
In film, Moffat appeared as President Lyndon Baines Johnson in The Right Stuff, as a corrupt US President in Clear And Present Danger, and later as a station commander in the horror classic, The Thing. His other film credits included Rachel, Rachel, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, Earthquake and Winter Kills.
On television, Moffat was Dr. Marcus Polk in the ABC soap opera One Life to Live and an android in the TV adaptation of Logan’s Run
He is survived by his wife, Gwen Arner, and daughters Lynn and Catherine Railton, as well as two children from his first marriage, Kathleen, known as Wendy, and Gabriel Moffat; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial details have not been revealed.
Lifetime Casts Leads For Jane Green Movies ‘Family Pictures’ & ‘To Have And To Hold’(12/14/18) Lifetime has its leads for a pair of movies based on internationally best-selling author Jane Green novels. The cable net said today that Justina Machado, Elisabeth Röhm and Matt Passmore will star in Family Pictures and Erika Christensen, Antonio Cupo, Andy Favreau and Carmel Amit are set for To Have and to Hold.
Both movies premiere next year, along with another based on Green’s Tempting Fate, which will star Alyssa Milano.
Family Pictures stars Machado (Jane the Virgin) and Sylvie and Röhm (Law & Order) as Maggie, strangers living on opposite coasts, leading very similar lives with husbands that travel for work too much and daughters about to leave the nest. But when their daughters befriend each other on a college tour, they soon discover a shocking secret that threatens to tear both families apart. Passmore’s (Jigsaw) role was not specified.
Manu Boyer is directing from a script by Ilene Rosenzweig.
To Have and To Hold centers on Alice (Christensen, Parenthood), who still can’t believe her high school crush — the dashing, wealthy and successful Joe (Cupo, Blood & Treasure) — would choose to marry her, and she willingly allows him to mold her into his ideal socialite wife. Despite Alice’s best efforts to be the woman of Joe’s dreams, he can’t help but be unfaithful to her. When Joe’s indiscretions impact his career, Alice’s life is further turned upside down. She unexpectedly finds herself falling for Harry (Favreau, Champions), the boyfriend of her best friend Emily (Amit, Ghost Wars), and begins to wonder if her fairy-tale ending could exist after all. Monika Mitchell directs from a script by Jennifer Maisel.
The exec producers on both pics are Green, Kim Raver, Boyer, Jocelyn Freid, David Fleming, Shane Salerno and Kara Feifer. Family Pictures and To Have and to Hold are in production in Vancouver.
Critics’ Choice Awards Nominations(12/12/18) The winners will be revealed at the star-studded Critics’ Choice Awards gala, broadcast live January 13 on the CW at 7 PM ET/PT.MOVIES
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Lifetime Unveils Premiere Dates For Winter Movie Slate(12/4/18) Lifetime has unveiled the premiere dates for their robust slate of winter movies. From music icons to deadly cheerleaders to the daughter of a notorious mob boss, the network isn’t holding back when it comes to the drama — some based on true stories, some not — for 2019.
Highlights of their slate include Love You to Death (January 26) starring Marcia Gay Harden, which is based on the true story of a mother and daughter who are nothing like they seem, their tumultuous relationship ending in a brutal murder. Also based on a true story is Escaping the Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story (January 19) starring Christina Ricci. The movie is inspired by Nellie Bly’s undercover stay at the impenetrable Women’s Lunatic Asylum. For something a little lighter, there’s Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You (February 16) which follows the personal and professional journey of the titular Grease icon. Lifetime acquired the biopic for its U.S. premiere.
Other features on the slate include Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter (February 9) which is executive produced by the real-life Victoria Gotti. Lifetime will also bring back the cult classic Death of a Cheerleader (February 2). The remake will see the return of Kellie Martin, who starred in the 1994 original.
Lifetime has also acquired Best Friend’s Betrayal and My Mother’s Split Personalities for January. The network will feature five weeks of premieres every Saturday at 8 pm PT/ET, beginning January 19.
See the complete list and summaries of the features below.
Escaping the Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story
The Lifetime feature is inspired by Nellie Bly’s undercover stay at the impenetrable Women’s Lunatic Asylum and stars Golden Globe and Emmy nominated actress Christina Ricci (Monster), two-time Tony award-winner, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Judith Light (Transparent, The Assassination of Giannni Versace) as Matron Grady and Josh Bowman (Revenge).
On a mission to expose the deplorable conditions and mistreatment of patients at the notorious Women’s Lunatic Asylum, investigative reporter Nellie Bly (Ricci) feigns mental illness in order to be institutionalized to report from the inside. The movie delivers an intense and fictionalized account of actual events surrounding Nellie’s stay beginning after Nellie has undergone treatment, leaving her with no recollection of how she came to the asylum or her real identity. Nellie’s unwillingness to submit to authority results in unspeakable torture at the hands of the head nurse, Matron Grady (Light). When Nellie captures the attention of Dr. Josiah (Bowman) who tries to help her, Grady’s barbaric tactics only intensify, leading Nellie to questions if she actually does belong in the asylum after all.
A real-life hero, Nellie Bly’s expose was the first of its kind in America and inspired the global reformation of mental health care.
Escaping the Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story is executive produced by Howard Braunstein along with Ricci of Grey Team Productions. Michael Tive, David Sigal, Peter Werner and Jonathan Baruch of StoryBy Entertainment also serve as executive producers with Karen Moncrieff as director (Petals on the Wind) with a screenplay by Helen Childress (Reality Bites).
Love You to Death
Inspired by a true story, Love You to Death is a shocking tale of a mother and daughter who are nothing like they seem, their tumultuous relationship ending in a brutal murder. Camile (Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden, Fifty Shades features, Code Black, Point Blank) and Esme (Emily Skeggs, Miseducation of Cameron Post, Mile 22) are well-known in their community – Esme as the sickly, child-like wheelchair-bound daughter, and Camile as the perfect caretaker and mother. They seem a perfect pair until Camile is found stabbed to death in her home, and Esme has vanished, believed to be kidnapped by the killer. But when Esme is found, a terrible secret emerges. Esme was not kidnapped. Instead she ran away with her boyfriend (Brennan Keel Cook) after working with him to murder Camile. More than that, Esme is perfectly healthy, mentally and physically, and has been a victim of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, forced to believe she was ill by her controlling, abusive mother.
Tate Donovan (The Man in The High Castle) plays Travis, Esme’s estranged father who tries to reconnect with his daughter, despite her mother’s objections.
Marcia Gay Harden is repped by ICM Partners and Framework Entertainment.
Love You to Death is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Davis Entertainment Television. Executive producers are Jordan Davis and John Davis. Alex Kalymnios directs from a script written by Anthony Jaswinski.
Death of a Cheerleader
In a remake of the cult-classic, Death of a Cheerleader is inspired by Randall Sullivan’s Rolling Stone article of the same name about the real-life murder of a popular, affluent and beautiful Northern California high school cheerleader at the hand of a classmate. Bridget Moretti (Aubrey Peeples) is a shy outsider from a lower middle-class background who aspires to be beautiful, popular and perfect in everything. Believing that a friendship with rich and pretty Kelly Locke (Sarah Dugdale), leader of the school’s most prestigious clique, will get her all that she desires, Bridget tries to forge a friendship with her. When Kelly rejects Bridget’s attempts, it leaves her humiliated and feeling like a failure and ultimately fuels a jealous rage that will lead to murder. Death of a Cheerleader explores the events leading up to and after the shocking crime that took place in this upper-middle-class community.
Kellie Martin, who starred alongside Tori Spelling in the original, plays the FBI agent who cracks the case.
Death of a Cheerleader is produced by Just Singer Entertainment and Reunion Pacific Entertainment. Executive producers are Matthew O’Connor, Paddy Bickerton, Steve White and Sheri Singer. Paul Shapiro directs from a script written by Caitlin D. Fryers.
Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter
Executive produced by Victoria Gotti herself, the movie takes us deep into the world of what it was really like to grow up as the daughter of mob boss John Gotti, revealing the glamour, glitz and unique hardships of her world. Sharing never-before-revealed stories about her life, Victoria (played by Chelsea Frei) tells of a sensitive child growing up with a beloved father (Maurice Benard) she worried about constantly; the tragedy of her younger brother’s death; and her turbulent romance, forbidden by her father, with the man who later became her husband. Victoria had a front-row seat to a life the world became fascinated with, all while trying to reconcile the loving father she adored with a man the outside world was determined to bring down.
Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter is produced by Relevé Entertainment for Lifetime with Victoria Gotti, Jennifer Wachtell (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) and Holly Carter (Home is Where You Find It) executive producing. Catherine Cyran (The Prince & Me) directs from a script co-written by Victoria Gotti and David Schneiderman (Chasing Liberty). The film is based on Gotti’s book This Family of Mine: What It Was Like Growing Up Gotti. Victoria Gotti will appear on camera narrating her story.
Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You
Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You is the remarkable personal and professional journey of international superstar Olivia Newton-John, illustrated through her music. Covering her lasting power across more than five decades in one of the world’s toughest industries, the film delves into both Olivia’s public persona as well as the private woman behind-the-scenes, including her multiple battles with cancer and her intense fight to survive.
Australian singer, songwriter and actress Delta Goodrem (House Husbands, judge on The Voice, Australia) stars as Olivia Newton-John and re-records her classic hits for the film. Hugo Johnstone-Burt (San Andreas, The Wrong Girl) is Bruce Welch and Todd Lasance (The Flash, The Vampire Diaries) plays Lee Kramer. Richard Brancatisano (Chasing Life) is featured as Matt Lattanzi, Anthony Brandon Wong (The Matrix Revolutions) is Patrick McDermott, Morgan Griffin (San Andreas, The Sleepover Club) is young Olivia, and Georgia Flood (American Princess, Wentworth) is young Pat Carroll.
Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You is produced by Fremantle with the assistance of Screen Australia and Film Victoria for Channel Seven. Lifetime has acquired the film for the U.S. premiere.
JANUARY ACQUIRED MOVIES
Best Friend’s Betrayal
Best friends Katie (Mary Grill) and Jess (Vanessa Walsh) are inseparable and have always had each other’s backs. When Jess begins a new serious relationship with famous crime writer, Nick (Jaime M. Callica), Katie is unsure of this new seemingly perfect man. Katie wants to support her friend’s newfound happiness but is fiercely protective of her. But Katie’s obsession with Jess soon proves deadly and it is up to the recently vilified Nick to expose this supposed ‘best friend’ before it is too late. Best Friend’s Betrayal is produced by Reel One Entertainment.
My Mother’s Split Personalities
After her father dies of a heart attack, Julie Price (Kayla Wallace) has returned home after two years of living in estrangement from her mother Gail (Lindsay Hartley). But Gail is not herself these days, acting bizarrely and under the control of Warren (Jefferson Brown), a highly intelligent criminal, who has become Gail’s boyfriend and is plotting to get his hands on a vast amount of money left behind by her dead husband. As Julie investigates the cause of her mother’s strange behavior, she gets closer to the truth about Warren, and a deadly game of cat and mouse begins, in which the dark criminal operator will do anything to protect his payday. It’s up to Julie to save her mother from not only Warren but also from her own split personalities and get her the help she desperately needs. My Mother’s Split Personalities is produced by Reel One Entertainment
Free Buffy, Angel, Firefly(12/1/18) Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel, plus creator Joss Whedon’s cult fave Firefly, are now available to stream for free in their entirety on Facebook Watch, per Variety.
Kristen Alderson Opens up About Her First Love, ONE LIFE TO LIVE Castmate Brandon Buddy(11/29/18) (abc.soapsindepth.com) Although some soap fans may only remember Kristen Alderson as the first Kiki Jerome on GENERAL HOSPITAL, most know her best as ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s Starr Manning, the little girl viewers watched grow into a young woman. And the actress recently revealed that her first daytime role led to her very first real-life love story — she and OLTL castmate Brandon Buddy (Cole) were an item both on and off the show! “Procrastinating washing my face led me down a rabbit hole of Starr and Cole scenes on YouTube,” Alderson confessed on Twitter. So here I am at 2:30 a.m. still in my stage makeup watching myself at age 15 and 18 be in love with my first love. Life is weird and beautiful. So grateful for it all.”
When a fan asked her to confirm she’d read the tweet correctly, adding that she was a huge fan of Starr and Cole and the chemistry the pair shared together, Alderson revealed there was a very good reason that chemistry was so strong. “It was a secret,” she confided of their romance, “but yep. In real-life, too.”
Alderson joined the cast of OLTL back in 1998 and grew up on screen as Starr. Buddy first appeared as Cole Thornhart in the fall of 2006, and Starr and Cole quickly became a popular supercouple on the soap. As their relationship developed, the teens navigated the ups and downs of young love, and after finally deciding to sleep together, Star became pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl named Hope. Unfortunately, their future happiness was ruined when Cole wound up in prison for murder and Starr had to raise their daughter on her own.
When Alderson joined the cast of GH following OLTL’s cancelation, Cole and Hope were killed off in a car accident, leaving Starr completely on her own to build a new life in Port Charles. When Starr later went to Los Angeles and broke up with Michael Corinthos over the phone, many fans suspected that Cole and Hope had survived the crash and imagined that the three of them have been reunited and are living in California together. Hey, in soaps anything is possible, even happy endings!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Cast Previews Amy's #MeToo Episode: 'You See a Side of Her That You've Never Seen Before'(11/24/18) Brooklyn Nine-Nine is moving forward with a #MeToo storyline in Season 6. The episode, which is focused on Melissa Fumero’s Amy, marks the directorial debut of Fumero’s co-star, Stephanie Beatriz.
“I’ve never done an episode like this,” Fumero tells TVLine. “You see a side of her that you’ve never seen before.”
For Fumero, having Beatriz at the helm was especially important given the material at hand. “I think it would have been nerve-wracking if it had been someone else, or someone I didn’t know,” she says. “It was really wonderful to have my friend directing, where we already have a shorthand… It was so amazing to just have that trust, to feel protected and safe.”
Back in August, series co-creator Dan Goor told reporters at the Television Critics’ Assoc. summer press tour that the producers were contemplating a #MeToo episode. At the time, fellow EP and series star Andy Samberg said that they wouldn’t move forward with the issue-oriented episode “unless we have the right take that does it justice.”
According to Beatriz, the writers ultimately came up with an “amazing script” for Fumero, adding, “I think she’s [an] underrated actress. I don’t think people understand the scope of her talent, and I am really thrilled I got to be witness to it on set that week. Melissa’s a star.”
Brooklyn Nine-Nine makes its NBC debut on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 9/8c. An airdate for the #MeToo episode has not yet been announced.
Soap opera veteran Jensen Buchanan is ready for a clean break in Brentwood(11/20/18) (latimes.com) Veteran soap opera actress Jensen Buchanan has listed a Brentwood home she owns through a trust for sale at $2.45 million.
The single-level Traditional, built in 1955, has an open floor plan, wood floors and vaulted ceilings. A fireplace anchors the living room. The kitchen has a beamed ceiling, stainless-steel appliances and an eat-at center island. There are four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
French doors at the back of the house open to a covered terrace, a pavilion and an outdoor kitchen. A stone bridge with a waterfall overlooks the pool and spa area.
Buchanan, 56, has appeared on such daytime soap operas as "Another World," "As the World Turns," "General Hospital" and "One Life to Live."
She bought the property in 2016 for $1.9 million, public records show.
Jade Mills and Johnny Schell of Coldwell Banker are the listing agents.
Fosse/Verdon Adds Cast(11/20/18) FX’s forthcoming limited series Fosse/Verdon, about the romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) and Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams), has added the following actors to its ensemble: Norbert Leo Butz (as Paddy Chayefsky), Margaret Qualley (as Ann Reinking), Aya Cash (as Joan Simon), Nate Corddry (as Neil Simon), Susan Misner (as Joan McCracken), Bianca Marroquin (as Chita Rivera), Kelli Barrett (as Liza Minnelli), Evan Handler (as Hal Price), Rick Holmes (as Fred Weaver) and Paul Reiser (as Cy Feuer).
Dishing with Digest - 11/16/18 - Ron Carlivati(11/16/18) Head Writer Ron Carlivati Talks About His Soap Past And Present (Listen / download)
DAYS’s Head Writer Ron Carlivati talks to Digest’s Stephanie Sloane and Mara Levinsky about his Salem present, the highlights of his GH and ONE LIFE TO LIVE past, how he broke into the biz and more. We also discuss the challenges of being the top scribe in today’s soap climate.
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