Media Ho (noun): A person who retains far too much information about people/places/things having to do with the media world, including (but not limited to) television, movies, music, pop culture, and the movers/shakers/performers in those worlds. Constantly frustrated by friends’ refusal to play any one of the versions of Trivial Pursuit with her. Result: this column, which will deal mostly with the rumors currently out there about ABC Daytime programs and players, delving deeply into them and offering further insight/commentary, drawing on that retained information as well as other sources.


Last week, I dropped a little hint about the possible return of Janet-From-Another-Planet Dillon, Amanda’s mom and a certifiable looney tunes. The fact that Janet has been led to believe that there’s an upcoming wedding between Amanda and Jamie Martin, and even wrote a letter to young, foolish, clueless Jamie welcoming him to the family, got my antennae wiggling. Next thing I know, Soap Zone has posted that Soap Opera Weekly has reported that, yes, Janet will be making a return. What surprised me is that the last actress to play Janet-From-Another-Planet, Robin Mattson, is not the actress who will be back. It’s Kate Collins, who originated the role, first as the relatively sane sibling, Natalie Marlowe Hunter Cortlandt Chandler Dillon (I don’t think I missed any husbands), then as the evil twin, Janet. While Collins (did you know her dad is astronaut Michael Collins, most famously known as one-third of the crew of Apollo 11, the mission that landed Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969?) was the definitive Natalie, I don’t think anyone would argue that Mattson WAS Janet (hey, her stints as psycho Heather on GH were great preparation). This is going to be interesting. Unfortunately, it’s also supposed to be brief, but take heart: Walt (Jackson Montgomery) Willey got his start as an occasional day player, and look what happened to him. And, of course, the most famous example of an actor who was supposed to be on camera for just a few short days was a young man named Anthony Geary, and look at him now! Anything can happen on daytime.

Speaking of anything happening on daytime (and we’ll be doing a LOT of that), now that the Julia/Dragon storyline has been resolved by her killing him, wasn’t it great to see a smile on her face when she greeted sister Anita and nephew Sam? Julia returned as a one-dimensional woman out to avenge her husband’s death, and she was determined, dogged, and unsmiling, at best. I only felt sympathetic towards her when they’d show flashbacks of her former life with husband Noah, the magnificent Keith Hamilton Cobb.
The character of Julia was never better than when she was with Noah.  This is not to disparage the talent of Sydney (Julia) Penney, because she is a fine actress. It’s simply the material she was given, and she did what was necessary with it. Now that the storyline is over, wouldn’t it be great to see Julia happy again? We all know what would make her happiest -- if hubby Noah really hadn’t been killed by the Dragon and his forces, but hidden or imprisoned somewhere, ready to make a return to his Julia. Guess what, folks? Keith Hamilton Cobb is NOT on any other show at this time, neither daytime nor primetime nor cable. From all reports, he is available. Wouldn’t ABC be foolish not to make him an offer? Show Brian Frons (ABC Daytime president) a reel of Julia and Noah, and I bet he’d be falling all over himself to sign the guy. Extra little bonus for Frons: now that AMC has reduced the number of strong black male actors with the killing of The Dragon/Garret Williams, so wonderfully played by Lamman Rucker, the show can redeem itself by rehiring Cobb, pleasing the Julia/Noah fan base at the same time.

There has been a LONG standing rumor that the Di/Dixie story will eventually open the door for the return of Cady McClain, the “real” Dixie. Considering that Tad’s about to burst Di/Dixie’s little bubble AND the fact that the love of his “mother” has partially redeemed JR, that door may be pried open before too long. McClain, no longer on ATWT, has been spotted at a variety of charity events involving other soap stars, so she’s still very much in the loop. And returning from the dead has been done so many times, most recently with Di/Dixie, that there’s really no excuse or problem in resurrecting Dixie once more.  Plus, November sweeps are coming up...

I also mentioned last week that the rumor about another ABC actress going west to play yet another recast of GH’s Sarah Webber has been squashed. All eyes on Rebecca Budig (Greenlee), which, in my opinion, would have been a horrible career move for the talented actress. Why would a leading actress drop several levels to play a character that a) has been played by two different actresses (at last count), and b) been little more that a dud in either incarnation? Work with what you already have; don’t resurrect the unnecessary when you’ve already got a full slate of talent, many woefully underused! Sad to report, though, that Soap Opera Weekly has confirmed that Budig will, in fact, be leaving AMC when her contract expires, at the end of the year. Damn shame. If one were to look at a tape of her growth as an actress from her start as a spoiled little rich girl out to nail Scott Chandler (again)... playing a manipulative bitch not above using sex to get what she wants...her various adventures with Leo and Ryan, Ryan’s “Impossible Dreams” schemes, heart vacillating between Leo and Ryan, finally falling for Leo, then being destroyed by his death...the competition between Greenlee and Erica Kane for the title of Cosmetics Queen..nasty daddy Roger Smythe stealing from her trust fund, sleeping with Simone, and -- whoopsie! -- not even being her daddy...the whole Juan Carlos deal...starting up Fusion...destroying daddy Jack’s wedding to Erica...bonding with brother Reggie...and so much in between. Budig is such a wonderful talent. In years to come, I could see her as AMC’s next-generation Erica Kane. Well, for now, she’s off to other challenges. Perhaps hubby Bob (“The Bachelor”) Guiney sees greener fields on the West Coast. Perhaps she wants to try prime time or movies (remember her in “Batman and Robin?”). Perhaps, one day, she’ll return. Until that day, I wish her all the best...and wonder what’s going to happen with that Ryan/Greenlee baby that’s incubating in Kendall’s womb. I foresee that Ryan will return, which will send Greenlee out of her tree and out of Pine Valley, but what about the baby?

Speaking of babies, this Erica/Dr. Madden link has been dropping all sorts of hints lately. First we have Josh saying how his parents always referred to him as their “miracle child.” Then Dr. Madden makes a snide remark to Erica about how she got pregnant one time, only to throw the child away. That was quickly swept under the rug, but it got me thinking. Erica was the first daytime character to have an abortion. Could Dr. Madden have performed it? And, as he and his wife were having fertility problems, could he have swiped an egg or two of Erica’s as he was performing the procedure? Why else would he yell at Josh that “Kendall Hart is the one woman in the world you can never have!”? We’re creeping closer to the revelation, and this is how I think it’s going to happen. Now Erica will be able to add a half-son to the growing Kane/Montgomery clan!


This whole stalker story is supposedly going to be linked to several other existing stories. Well, we got the first clue when Diego attacked Brook Lynn to avenge his cousin, Sage (did he even know her?). However...was he her initial attacker, the one who took the nudie photos, or is he just using the same modus operandi? Then there’s Seth. My money’s on Seth as the roofie stalker. Why? He’s trying to fight off his homosexuality, and, as he is awkward with girls in normal social situations (remember his clumsy attempts with Brook Lynn?), he’s using the roofie/nude photo approach. I also think he’s eventually going to stop fighting his natural feelings and hook up with Lucas, who has just come out of the closet to cousin Georgie. Dillon has more or less been cleared as the stalker, but Dr. Winters’ profile fits him, Diego, and Lucas. Could it also fit Jesse? We’re learning more and more about Jesse, but in little drips and drabs. When the character was introduced, it was hinted that he had some long-standing ties to a well-known family in Port Charles. My guess was (and is) Mike Webber Barrington, adoptive son of Rick and Lesley Webber, natural son of Ginny Blake (later married to Rick Webber) and Derek Barrington, who eventually left town with daddy Derek and his new wife, Lorena Sharpe (cousin of Monica Quartermaine). I think Jesse is either Mike, or someone tied to him. Jesse’s latest revelation, that he had an older sister, may help or hinder this theory. You see, one COULD argue that Mike had siblings in Amy Vining (and Blackie), sorta, not to mention younger brother Rick Webber, Jr., the result of Rick and Ginny’s marriage. Well, Rick Webber is gone -- OR IS HE? -- and Ginny was never mentioned when Rick returned. Could Rick Webber, Jr. be the younger brother killed while Jesse was playing hood?

While we’re on the subject of Jesse, it must be mentioned that Entertainment Tonight has reported that Rick Springfield will reprise his role as Dr. Noah Drake for four episodes, and you can consider that a segue of sorts, as Mr. Springfield had a big pop hit with “Jesse’s Girl” while still on GH. Dr. Drake was rather a heartthrob, and Bobbie had a major jones for him (pun intended). Will we see Bobbie get a little action, now that she’s been seen on screen lately? Is he in town to assist Dr. Robin Scorpio in her attempt to save Jason? Or does he have a new album to plug? It’s really anybody’s guess!

Soap Opera Weekly’s Carolyn Hinsey scored a major interview with Maurice Benard over the highlight reel he had made of Jennifer Bransford (ex-Carly) to convince TPTB to keep the actress. He has never gone to the mat for anyone like this before; he truly believes she is a talented actress and deserved to continue as Carly. Considering that Benard is the second most powerful actor on GH, nipping right on the heels of number one, Tony Geary; his opinion is not taken lightly by anyone. Plus, it must be said that Benard doesn’t do anything that he doesn’t WANT to do. Therefore, anyone who thinks this story is a bunch of P.R. hooey, is wrong, wrong, WRONG. Besides, I saw with my own eyes, at the General Hospital Fan Club Weekend last July, the natural rapport between Benard and Bransford. Prior to the fan luncheon, the actors converged in the Green Room, and I was there, along with other members of the press and other people directly involved with the event or with the actors. In between chatting with various actors, I took some candid shots. This one, while probably the worst quality in terms of lighting, spoke volumes.

Jennifer and Maurice were talking to each other while getting coffee at the buffet. She said something that made him laugh out loud and he gave her an affectionate embrace. I snapped the photo. No set up, no “oh, would the two of you pose for me,” just a candid photo of two people enjoying each other’s company. I believe Benard went to bat for her for the exact reasons he told Hinsey: he believed in her talent.

In the world of acting, something called a “Q Factor” is attached to each and every actor and actress. Basically, it’s a popularity score. Television actors with a high Q factor (think the late Robert Urich, John Stamos) will always have work, as they are almost guaranteed to attract an audience. The same goes for movie actors (Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz). Sometimes things like poor choices in roles (the reason cited for Sandra Bullock’s star power not being as powerful as Julia Roberts’, even though she was poised to be the “next” Julia Roberts about 10 years ago) or poor choices in life can have a negative affect on your Q rating, and your career suffers, or the roles either don’t come to you or are of lesser quality. Some overcome this (Dennis Quaid), some don’t. Now comes something called a “tracking report,” which was reportedly shown to Kari (Reese) Wuhrer as she was being shown the door. Carol Banks Weber, in her weekly SoapZone column, revealed that not only were other members of the cast unaware of such reports, but that the one given Wuhrer was rather different from feedback she’d been getting all along that her work was fine. Are these “tracking reports” culled from focus groups,  gathered from viewer’s mail, the results of professionally-conducted surveys, or a combination of all? Would not the actress have benefitted by being told up-front that there were issues to be dealt with, rather than be hit with it at the end, with decision already made by TPTB, with no chance to change or solve the problem? These so-called “tracking reports” could be used to improve the show, but it looks like they’re ammunition to be used when dismissing an actor. No wonder the whole thing was a mystery to the rest of the cast.

One actress, Kelly Monaco, has such a tremendous Q rating (no, I don’t know the score, but trust me, it’s up there) that not even Playboy magazine’s recent “discovery” of outtakes from her 1997 posing session, which the magazine will publish pronto, will hurt her career. If asked to do it now, she’d say no, but she was in a different place in 1997. After the shoot came a role on Baywatch, then a starring role on ABC’s Port Charles, then General Hospital and a little thing called Dancing With The Stars. As reported by my hometown paper, the New York Daily News, Monaco was approached to do another shoot, but politely refused. Used to be, when nudie photos of an actress (or actor) would surface, it could be a career breaker. In the 1950s, a much more puritanical time, it was revealed that a starving young actress then known as Norma Jean Dougherty, had been featured in a nude calendar. A much savvier, less hungry Marilyn Monroe held a press conference about this and ended up charming the media, particularly when she admitted that the “only thing she had on was the radio.” Great save, career continued, even when Playboy used that photo for its first centerfold! If you were to Google Kelly’s name, you’d see lots of sites that promise nude photography, but you see that for virtually every sexy actress (and actor). Incidentally, what I saw of her Playboy shoot were tasteful, beautiful photos of a gorgeous young woman with a body to die for. Hurt her career? Not in a million years! Her star trajectory’s continuing its ride upward, and I predict that it will continue in that direction for quite some time.


Clint returns to Llanview on Oct 26th and along with Viki, will be very involved in the integration of Jessica and Tess.  The story of what caused the split will finally be revealed and poor Nash will be a lonely boy when Jess returns.  This all carries over into, guess what?  November sweeps.  The rumble is that Viki will also be having a DID episode after hearing about Jessica, but this is not confirmed. 

The new Clint, Jerry verDorn, comes to us after playing Ross on GL for 26 years.  OLTL executive producer says of the two time Emmy Award winning actor, “We are very excited to have an actor of Jerry’s caliber join the OLTL ensemble.  He is a well respected actor, and we look forward to having Clint Buchanan back in Llanview full time.” 

The end of next week will reveal the corpses in the lake to be Margaret and baby.  Todd will be ready to bail (again) when he hears a body identification is imminent.  It is still not confirmed that the baby was actually Todd's child. 

Kassie DePaiva has signed a 4 year contract to remain on OLTL.  She commented on her message board, "I love Blair and hope to keep you entertained for years to come. Thanks for your support. I love my job."    Kassie provides vocals on the new Jim Brickman CD that has just been released.  Her own CD, "No Regrets," released last November, a follow up to "Naked."  "No Regrets" is available through Kassie's Official Website at www.kassiedepaiva,com.

Got any hot ABC Daytime gossip you’d like to share with The Media Ho? A difference of opinion, perhaps? Send it in!

For previous Media Ho
columns, click here

March 25, 2005

March 21, 2005

March 11. 2005

March 6, 2005

February 26, 2005

February 21, 2005

February 13, 2005

February 3, 2005

January 27, 2005

January 20, 2005

January 13, 2005

January 6, 2005

December 30, 2004

December 23, 2004

December 16 2004

December 8, 2004

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