I owe Beth Chamberlin an apology. A few weeks back in my Top 10 Last Ditch Stunts to Save Guiding Light post, I recommended the show toss the actress in favor of bringing back Beth Raines' originator Judi Evans. While I never saw Evans in the role, I heard from my aunts and mother who watched the show during the heyday of The Four Musketeers, that Evans was even more fantastic as Beth than she was as Days of Our Lives' Adrienne or Another World's Paulina, two of my favorite soap heroines, so for me it seemed like a no brainer to bring back Evans with the show in such a precarious state. Then this past week happened. READ MORE
Before I get to the main event regarding the much ballyhooed resurrection of the lost Spaulding heir, a little housekeeping is in order.
First, no matter what one may think of the current state of Guiding Light or its prospects for survival, one cannot fault CBS for not marketing the high holy hell out of the return of Grant Aleksander and the character of Phillip Granville Spaulding. GL/Phillip/Aleksander has been everywhere: print ads and a steady barrage of television commercials have been broadcast non-stop, right down to a live interview with Sarah Bibel on Fancast.com. Internet advertising has been almost overwhelming.
Think I'm exaggerating? Consider that the publicity has run so deep and so wide that outlets as disparate as TVGuide.com have featured two video packages to The Wall Street Journal's financial/investment website MarketWatch.com have featured Aleksander/GL related material. Hell, all that was missing was a Super Bowl commercial; given how ubiquitous the marketing has been, no doubt CBS would have run one had it broadcast the game! I don't believe I have seen this much publicity for a soap since the heydey of General Hospital's Luke & Laura or, more recently, Susan Lucci's reported pay cut. READ MORE
Funny how the universe sometimes lines up and minds think alike, isn't it? Guiding Light is in the thoughts of a lot of people these days. Bloggers, soap journalists and industry watchers — not to mention the writers, cast and crew of GL — are all on pins and needles about this 72 year old institution. The writing has been on the wall among commentators on the Internet and in the soap press for some time regarding GL's maybe/probably/likely cancellation, which would essentially signal the final march along daytime's trail of tears as the end of the genre.
The signs are obvious and ominous: GL has been hovering at a 1.5 rating for the last few months, a situation exacerbated by a genre-crushing free fall in advertising revenues, which have in turn led to massive budget cuts by the networks for all the shows. If GL doesn't get its act together by the Ides of April, as our own Jamey Giddens so aptly put it, the oldest series on broadcast television will bite the dust. However, there is hope. As has been reported here, Guiding Light needs the minimum of a steady 1.8 rating to avoid getting the ax.
Back to minds thinking alike: Just as I was finalizing this list, Mr. Giddens posted his "Top 10 Last Ditch Stunts To Save Guiding Light," followed by Spauldingfield's awesome GL promo posted by Luke Kerr. Because of their excellent efforts I almost decided to not post these recommendations, but the situtation at Guiding Light is so important to those of us who love the show that I felt it was more important to contribute to the call to keep GL on the air and risk repetition than not do so. Therefore, consider these considerations an addition to their efforts. GL needs viewers not tomorrow, but today and here are ten reasons to tune in right now! READ MORE
Despite gloom and doom about the state of daytime in almost all of its aspects, fans have been treated to some good soap opera lately. The Young and the Restless is the Must See Soap right now. One Life to Live has regained it's glory and Guiding Light is steadily improving. Some of daytime's best actors are giving some of the performances of their lives. With that in mind, there are three performers new to their respective shows deserving of special mention who I think are doing a bang up job.
JR MARTINEZ (Brot Monroe, All My Children)
Introduced amid a publicity blitz, JR Martinez came aboard AMC with a fascinating, real life backstory: an Iraq War veteran seriously injured and disfigured by explosives, eventually becoming a noted inspirational speaker for and on behalf of veterans coping with their life altering injuries. His addition to AMC's canvas was purposeful and deliberate. The show wanted a real life injured vet to play Brot, former love of newcomer Taylor (Beth Ehlers).
AMC has received much justly deserved praise for casting Martinez, but make no mistake, this was as much a bit of stunt casting as it was groundbreaking decision. READ MORE
Okay you knew it was coming. Now that the Idiots In Charge of The-Soap-Opera-Formerly-Known-as-Days-of-Our-Lives have let the phenomenal Blake Berris go, I decided to start out doing a Wishful Casting about where Berris should end up, but it turned into more of an analysis of which soaps are managing to set things up for their next generation the right way, and which ones are getting it wrong, dead wrong.
Much of the daytime industry is experiencing a serious drought in terms of talented, young stars who can actually, you know, act. Save for The Young and the Restless, One Life to Live and General Hospital, the under 30 set at most soaps is pretty much comprised of rejects from the Pamela Anderson School of Acting and Pantomime. I'll start with the soaps in most need of help and work my way up. READ MORE
The Guiding Light Cyrina fan base seems to just keep growing and growing. Here's a clip I was emailed.