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News & Cast Updates(News section last updated July 28, 2019)
Laura Wright Says She Always Knew Kelly Ripa Would Be a Star(7/28/19) (abc.soapsindepth.com) Since taking over as co-host of what’s now LIVE WITH KELLY AND RYAN in 2001, Kelly Ripa (Hayley, ALL MY CHILDREN) has gone from daytime starlet to morning talk show icon — and the transition was no surprise to GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Laura Wright (Carly). “Kelly’s a friend of mine from when I was [Ally] on LOVING and she was on AMC” in New York during the 1990s. “We were inseparable for the longest time.”
When Kathie Lee Gifford announced that she was leaving what was then LIVE! WITH REGIS & KATHIE LEE, Wright thought her pal would be perfect as Regis Philbin’s new co-host. “I just knew this was Kelly’s job. I had no idea she was even in the running. I was talking with a friend and said Kelly should have the part. There was no one else that quick and funny on the spot.” So when Ripa called to share the big news, Wright could have easily told mutual friends that she’d predicted the casting news. “It’s just so her!”
Laura Wright Thanks Fans for Their Love as She Mourns Her Parents(1/7/19) (abc.soapsindepth.com) The end of 2018 was challenging for GENERAL HOSPITAL star Laura Wright (Carly), but she’s determined to start 2019 on a positive note and also thank her loyal fans for their unwavering support as she mourned the loss of her parents. “I wanna thank you all for your condolences,” she posted to Instagram. “It’s been an interesting couple months (I refuse to use a negative label). Honestly, I’m just grateful. Taking deep breaths and being present. And I’m excited for what 2019 has to bring!” She also included the hashtags: “#lifeisbeautiful, #grateful, #itsuptoyou, #itsreallyuptoyou, and #2019Baby.”
GH fans have been flooding Wright’s social media accounts with heartfelt messages of love and support both when she lost her mother back in October of 2018 and again when her father passed away in December. The actress traveled home to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with boyfriend Wes Ramsey (Peter) to join her family and friends in memorializing both Betty and Rector Sisk.
Our thoughts continue to go out to Wright and her entire family during this difficult time.
Wes Ramsey Expresses His Deep Love for Laura Wright(1/3/19) (abc.soapsindepth.com) As 2019 began, GENERAL HOSPITAL star Wes Ramsey (Peter) shared a beautifully heartfelt message to his love, Laura Wright (Carly). “As I close out this powerful calendar year,” he posted to Instagram, “I’m reflecting continually on — and humbly moved by — the grace with which this strong woman moves through the world. We’ve been blessed with so much this year, yet she has lost so much more.”
Ramsey is referring to Wright having lost her beloved mother back in October, followed by the death of her father at the end of December. But throughout any hardships, the actress has remained grateful for the good things in her life, and it’s an attitude he is hoping to emulate himself. “Her unplanned, unprepared stoicism in spite of such loss is revering to my heart and inspiring to my spirit,” Ramsey declared. “She’s a tour de force — paving the road in spite of the path or its forced directions. I know this because I, too, am on that path. Her path. I am here to vouch that the road is smooth and placed with both intention and foundation, no matter the obstacle.
“So as I close out this year — one of the best of my life,” Ramsey concluded, “I’ve never thought less about my worried self and been more honored by this magical angel as her laughter (my distraction) keeps my dreams not just afloat, but out in front. I’m proud of you. I admire you. I thank you for letting me walk with you.”
For her part, Wright is also grateful to have Ramsey by her side. “I’ve had a beautiful January 1,” she shared on her own Instagram. “Reflection, tears, and gratitude for this view. I wrapped myself in love and memories and took deep breaths (and a quick dip in the hot tub), staying quiet with my thoughts on this new day. Thank you, Wes, for being by my side.”
The love these two share is an inspiration to everyone. All the best for a happy 2019 for the both of them!
Laura Wright Mourns the Death of Her Father(12/31/18) (abc.soapsindepth.com) Please join us in sending love to GENERAL HOSPITAL star Laura Wright (Carly), who is mourning the death of her father, Rector Sisk. She shared the heartbreaking news on Instagram with a series of photos of her dad with her mother, Betty, who passed away just two months earlier in October. “Together is a beautiful place to be,” Wright said of her parents’ passing. “RIP, Dad. I love you.” Her father was 75.
Wright, who began her daytime career as Aly on LOVING and THE CITY before playing Cassie on GUIDING LIGHT and then joining the cast of GH, has always enjoyed a warm, loving family. She has two children, Lauren, and John, and a brother, Jeffrey Sisk. Now her parents, Rector and Betty, are reunited in heaven to watch over all of them. Our thoughts are with Wright and her entire family during this difficult time.
Eliza Dushku Fires Back at Bull Co-star Michael Weatherly, Details 'Cruel' and 'Aggressive' Harassment on Set(12/23/18) Eliza Dushku has broken her silence about her run on CBS’ Bull, a job she says featured “one of the most cruel, most aggressive humiliations I have ever experienced” and from which she was fired after speaking up about lewd comments made by her co-star, Michael Weatherly.
In an op-ed published in Wednesday’s Boston Globe, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum outlines in great detail the atmosphere on the CBS procedural that led to her lodging a formal complaint — and then being fired not long afterward. Dushku, who says she was brought onto the show to become a series regular, later was awarded a $9.5 million settlement by the network.
News of the settlement broke in a New York Times article earlier in December. Dushku declined to be interviewed for that piece, she writes, “because I wanted to honor the terms of my settlement with the network. I was under the impression that Weatherly and [Bull showrunner Glen Gordon] Caron would also not respond per our settlement. Instead, all commented to the Times in what amounted to more deflection, denial, and spin.”
Last week, Weatherly’s former NCIS colleagues Pauley Perrette and Sasha Alexander jumped to defend him, pledging their support for him on social media. “This man… I love, respect, trust, and I KNOW. TWO decades of friendship and respect,” Perrette tweeted with a photo of her and Weatherly. “The best. I love you @M_Weatherly. Always and forever.”
Per the Times story, Weatherly would say things like, “Here comes legs” when Dushku arrived on set for a scene, that he joked about having a threesome with her and that he once responded to her flubbing a line by saying he’d bend her over his knee and spank her. Dushku adds that her former co-star also routinely mocked previous sexual harassment training and rallied the crew against her, humiliating her publicly during an end-of-season wrap party.
Dushku writes that, after she approached Weatherly directly and asked for his help in de-sexualizing the atmosphere on set, he texted Caron and asked that she be written off the show, adding that she had a “humor deficit.”
About that, she writes:
For the record, I grew up in Boston with three older brothers and have generally been considered a tomboy. I made a name for myself playing a badass vampire slayer turned tough LA cheerleader; I have worked with numerous leading men, including Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio, even CBS’s own David Boreanaz. I can handle a locker room. I have been on Howard Stern and was hired by Kevin Smith for a film where I wore a black leather cat suit and played a member of an international diamond-thief-gang-ring. I do not want to hear that I have a “humor deficit” or can’t take a joke. I did not over-react. I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired.
Dushku adds that top CBS executives had no idea that she would be fired and were shocked when they heard about the move from her management team. (Ahead of Season 3, Caron told TVLine: “I think what we all realized was… the only way to have kept her character in the show, because she is a lawyer, was if her law firm bought Bull’s company, and then you’re really changing the DNA of the whole show… There was no way to keep that sort of ‘duet’ working.”)
“I think what we all realized was… the only way to have kept her character in the show, because she is a lawyer, was if her law firm bought Bull’s company, and then you’re really changing the DNA of the whole show,” Caron answered. “There was no way to keep that sort of ‘duet’ working.”
She goes on to say that in addition to the settlement, “I wanted a culture change” at the network. To that end, a condition of her agreement was that CBS assign someone trained in sexual harassment compliance to oversee Weatherly and the show; she also required a meeting with Steven Spielberg, head of Amblin Television, which co-produces the drama.
Michael Weatherly's NCIS Co-Stars Defend Him in Wake of Bull Scandal: His Heart Is 'As Big As They Come'(12/16/18) In the wake of recent reports that Bull star Michael Weatherly made lewd comments to co-star Eliza Dushku on set, two of Weatherly’s former NCIS castmates are coming to his defense.
According to a Dec. 13 report by The New York Times, Dushku was poised to become a series regular on Bull after joining the CBS drama late in Season 1 as defense attorney J.P. Nunnelly. But Dushku said that Weatherly repeatedly made demeaning and crude comments about her during her time on the show, and when she lodged a formal complaint with the network, she was written off the show and later given a $9.5 million settlement by CBS.
Dushku claims that Weatherly made remarks about her appearance, said in front of the cast and crew that he would bend her over his leg and spank her, and suggested she wanted to have a threesome with him and a male crew member.
In separate tweets on Saturday, Pauley Perrette and Sasha Alexander — both of whom co-starred with Weatherly on NCIS — pledged their support for the actor.
“This man… I love, respect, trust, and I KNOW. TWO decades of friendship and respect,” Perrette wrote alongside a photo of her and Weatherly. “The best. I love you @M_Weatherly. Always and forever.”
Alexander echoed the sentiment, writing, “I have been in trenches w/ my friend @M_Weatherly. Always laughs, true friend & [a heart] as big as they come.”
In a statement to the Times, Weatherly apologized for his behavior, acknowledging that “what I said was both not funny and not appropriate, and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.” But despite Dushku’s account that she was written off the show shortly after confronting Weatherly about his behavior, Weatherly denied having anything to do with her character being written out.
Bull Bombshell: Eliza Dushku Written Off After Complaining About Co-Star Michael Weatherly's Lewd Comments, Handed Multi-Million Dollar Settlement(12/14/18) CBS’ Bull is having some legal issues of his own.
According to a report by the New York Times, actress Eliza Dushku, who joined the cast of the CBS legal drama late in Season 1 as defense attorney J.P. Nunnelly, lodged a formal complaint with the network after being on the receiving end of several lewd comments made by series star Michael Weatherly. Dushku was poised to become a series regular, but soon after voicing her concerns, she was written off the show, and later given a $9.5 million settlement by the network as compensation.
CBS confirmed the settlement, which stemmed from a series of on-set incidents alleged by Dushku. She claims that Weatherly made demeaning comments about her appearance, saying “Here comes legs” when she arrived on set, said he would bend her over his leg and spank her in front of the cast and crew, and suggested she wanted to have a threesome with him and a male crew member. Dushku felt “disgusted and violated” following the incidents, according to interview notes from an internal CBS investigation.
Dushku confronted Weatherly about his behavior, and days later, was informed her character was being written out. Dushku entered into mediation with the network, which ultimately led to the $9.5 million settlement — the equivalent of what Dushku would’ve earned had she remained a full-time cast member for four more seasons.
Weatherly apologized in a statement to the Times: “During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script. When Eliza told me that she wasn’t comfortable with my language and attempt at humor, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologized. After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate, and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”
But he denies having anything to do with Dushku being written off the show: “It’s my recollection that I didn’t tell anyone how they should do their job regarding the hiring or firing of anybody.”
Facebook Q&A: Maurice Benard & Laura Wright(12/14/18) Facebook Q&A: Maurice Benard & Laura Wright: Video.
GH’s Laura Wright In Lifetime Movie(12/7/18) Laura Wright (Carly, GH) will be starring in the Lifetime film STALKED BY MY PATIENT, which airs December 14 at 8 p.m. ET. Two of her co-stars in the film are familiar faces to Port Charles fans, Bree Williamson (ex-Claudette, GH) and Eddie Matos (ex-Ricky, PORT CHARLES). Wright posted the news on Instagram.
First Lady of the United States Drama Produced By Michael Weatherly & Eric Christian Olsen In Works At CBS(11/18/18) Bull star Michael Weatherly and NCIS: Los Angeles co-star Eric Christian Olsen have teamed up to produce First Lady, a provocative drama, which has been put in development at CBS.
Written/executive produced by Jessica Grasl (Designated Survivor), First Lady centers around the beloved First Lady of the United States, who, determined to reclaim her life, does the unthinkable – she divorces her husband while he’s still in office and uses her prominence to become an advocate for truth and justice by revitalizing her career as an investigative journalist.
Weatherly executive produces via his Solar Drive Productions, with the company’s Head of Development Tiffany Grant as co-executive producer. Olsen and Kate Schumaecker executive produce via Olsen’s Cloud Nine Productions. CBS TV Studios, where Weatherly and Olsen are under deals, is the studio.
Friends Weatherly and Olsen used to be cast mates in the NCIS CBS/CBS Studios franchise as Weatherly co-starred on the mothership series for many years. Weatherly also guest starred alongside Olsen in an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles as part of a crossover. The duo’s bromance was on full display when they appeared on CBS’ The Talk together to promote the crossover. (you can watch the clip below)
This development season, Weatherly also re-teamed with fellow NCIS alum Cote de Pablo to produce MIA, a detective drama, which also is in development at CBS.
First Lady is Olsen’s third project as a producer bought by CBS this season. He also has medical drama Nurses, based on the Finnish series, and multi-camera comedy Life Lessons, based on a Canadian digital series.
Grasl’s credits include co-executive producer on Season 2 of Designated Survivor, supervising producer on Shades of Blue, producer on Proof and co-producer on White Collar.
CBS already has a DC drama about a female top government official with Madam Secretary.
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