Soapside: Advocate's Guide to Daytime
BY Michael Fairman
July 16 2009 12:00 AM ET
Daytime Emmys and the Guiding Light Tribute
I am taking this opportunity to tell Advocate.com soap fans and readers that I am now on the production team for this year's Daytime Emmy Telecast, to be aired August 30 on the CW. My big news is that I will be producing the Guiding Light tribute package that will be one of the centerpieces of the show. And while I am currently culling through reels of footage from the shows 57 years on broadcast television, rest assured, I will not forget about Otalia! We have a big emotional moment in the works for this segment of the show. I can tell you that the following will be making their way to Los Angeles to take part in Guiding Light 's last Daytime Emmys and to be a part of this tribute: Grant Aleksander, Murray Bartlett, Jeff Branson, Robert Bogue, E.J. Bonilla, Mandy Bruno, Orlagh Cassidy, Beth Chamberlin, Crystal Chappell, Jordan Clarke, Bradley Cole, Zack Conroy, Daniel Cosgrove, Bonnie Dennison, Frank Dicopoulos, Marj Dusay, Elizabeth Keifer, Maeve Kinkead, Jessica Leccia, Kurt McKinney, Karla Mosley, Robert Newman, Michael O'Leary, Ron Raines, Marcy Rylan, Tina Sloan, Lawrence Saint-Victor, Gina Tognoni, Caitlin Van Zandt, Yvonna Kopacz Wright, and Kim Zimmer!
In addition, we had a phone call earlier this week with host Vanessa Williams to discuss some options for musical numbers for the Ugly Betty star during the telecast. Vanessa was just getting ready to start that day shooting the next season of the hit ABC series. I can't divulge the opening, but let me just say there may be a cute way to integrate some footage of Otalia in there as well. We shall see. I found Vanessa to be charming, organized, and an experienced industry veteran who knows what she wants. We love our Wilhelmina.
And finally, keeping my eye on the gay year in soaps, when asked by the Daytime Emmy talent booker who should present from As the World Turns , I piped up, "Well, Van and Jake, of course. They are known as 'Nuke.' They are one of the most popular couples on daytime." Voilà. I am happy to announce that representing As the World Turns as presenters on the telecast will be Van and Jake!
Scene Stealer of the Week
This week my vote goes to one of daytime's greatest performers, The Young and the Restless 's Michelle Stafford (Phyllis). In one of the most upsetting and twisted plot points, Phyllis's daughter Summer went into anaphylactic shock and then a coma after being kissed on the lips with remnants of peanut butter cookies by whacko Mary Jane Benson. Mary Jane did the deed to bring Phyllis and her estranged husband Nick back together, because she saw Phyllis as a threat to her obsession with Jack Abbott.
Fast forward. Phyllis's vigil by Summer's bedside was interrupted when she was taken to the police station for questioning and kept from her comatose daughter -- all because Mary Jane implicated the tot's mom to deflect attention from herself. All the beats of the story were magnificently played by Stafford. This week, in one more touching turn, Summer, who is now awake, has some brain impairment. Phyllis learns this and is devastated for her daughter. When the girl tried to say the word "daddy" she couldn't. Hankies! Kudos Michelle for making this whole scenario real and riveting.
It's that time of year again. I will be at the General Hospital Fan Club event this weekend. The main event is sold out on Saturday, but individual stars are having their own smaller gatherings throughout the weekend as well. For more check out the official site . I will have a full report in two weeks.
Also, I will be bringing you the news from the L.A. DVD release party for Manhattanites, the film starring soap faves ATWT 's Forbes March (Mason), who plays gay in the film, AMC 's Jill Larson (Opal) and Aiden Turner (Aidan), and OLTL 's Ilene Kristen (Roxy) and David Fumero (Cristian).