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Soap Operas

August 13, 2011 | By Ellen Knickmeyer, Los Angeles Times
Every night, as Syrian troops and tanks launch assaults on protesters during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a Syrian man named Jihad Abdo openly accuses the security forces of torture and corruption. The government of President Bashar Assad doesn't just tolerate his allegations, for which other Syrians have been jailed or killed. It's helping pay for them. The crucial difference is that Abdo is an actor, playing a character in one of the dozens of surprisingly candid, and hugely popular, soap operas that the government-backed TV industry produces every year for Ramadan, when Muslim families around the world settle in to watch the late-night dramas after the heavy meals that break their daytime fasts.
March 10, 2014 | By Meg James
Prospect Park Networks -- the production company that launched with high hopes of bringing two canceled ABC soap operas back to life -- has put itself on legal life support. The production firm based in Century City, headed by veteran producers Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank, said Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The group spent nearly three years and more than $10 million trying to revive two canceled daytime dramas, "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," that ran for four decades on the ABC television network.
November 23, 2011 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
Ambitious plans to create Internet versions of the doomed daytime soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" have collapsed. Five months ago, independent production firm Prospect Park acquired the rights to the two long-running ABC melodramas with the hopes of turning them into widely watched Web series. But on Wednesday, the company announced that it was abandoning its efforts after failing to make financially viable deals with brand-name online distributors, such as Hulu or Google, and after failing to get cost-cutting concessions from Hollywood's powerful talent guilds.
March 4, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
A New York parolee accused of fatally strangling a retired teacher in Hollywood may have come west after developing a network of pen pals, some that apparently grew from a shared fondness for the long-running soap opera "General Hospital. " Three months after he was released from prison after serving 20 years for murder, Scott Kratlian showed up in Hollywood and allegedly strangled one of his pen pals, 82-year-old Harry Major. The relationship between the convicted killer and the retired Hollywood High School teacher was probably one of many the inmate fostered over the years while imprisoned at Marcy Correctional Facility outside Syracuse, said another of Kratlian's pen pals.
March 18, 1989
I love to watch NCAA basketball. I am not interested in studying the mass of the audience. I am not interested in ogling the cheerleaders. I am not interested in a camera view through the backboard glass, past the photographers and to "what was that action?" I also am not interested in: --Watching what I've just seen; --Cameramen's human geometric, abstract visions; --Directors who wish they were directing soap operas; --Slow-motion studies of the basket rim. I am able to turn off the interminable, superficial blather of not-quite-retired jocks.
March 31, 1999
Margaret Mason, 58, actress best known for her work on television soap operas, including "The Young and the Restless." Mason portrayed Eve Howard on the popular CBS series intermittently from the 1970s into the 1990s. She also starred in the soap operas "General Hospital" and "Days of Our Lives" and portrayed Selena Cross on "Return to Peyton Place" in 1972. Born in Phoenixville, Pa., Mason appeared on Broadway in "Boys Will Be Boys" and had bit parts in several films.
March 11, 1994 | JEFF SCHNAUFER
Can soap operas save the world? Stay tuned. "I think it's a medium to reach people deeply and emotionally," Gloria Carlin, an actress who played Charity Gatlin on "General Hospital," said at a forum in North Hollywood on the power of daytime drama. The forum--held at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences theater on Lankershim Boulevard Wednesday night and titled "Can Soaps Save the World?"
September 30, 1998
Celebrities from West Coast-based soap operas including "The Bold and the Beautiful," "Days of Our Lives," "General Hospital," "Port Charles," "Sunset Beach" and "The Young and the Restless" will appear at the second annual Soap Opera Fair and Family Carnival, taking place Saturday at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, 5220 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sponsored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Activities Committee and TV Cares, the noon-4 p.m.
December 21, 1995
Samuel D. Ratcliffe, 50, Emmy-winning scriptwriter on the series "Santa Barbara." Ratcliffe earned his Emmy in 1991 for his work as head writer of the popular NBC series. He also was chief writer of the network's series "Texas" and "Another World." He previously wrote for daytime soap operas including "Days of Our Lives," "Guiding Light" and "Loving."
August 12, 2002 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Roberto Guzman, 65, the Mexican actor nicknamed "Flaco" ("Skinny") who was popular in hundreds of films and several television soap operas, died Friday in Mexico City of a cerebral hemorrhage. He had been hospitalized in a coma since Aug. 1. Born in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, Guzman began his career as a dancer in the 1956 film "La Locura del Rock and Roll" ("Crazy Rock and Roll"). He worked in a number of comedy troupes, honing his skills as an actor, landing frequent film roles.
February 5, 2014 | By Richard Winton
A soap opera actress know for her roles in "One Life to Live" and "Guiding Light" was charged with assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly hurling a glass in a woman's face, prosecutors said Wednesday. Crystal Hunt, 28, allegedly threw a pint glass at a woman inside a West Hollywood bar on Dec. 13. Prosecutors allege the victim suffered cuts to her face as a result of Hunt's actions. Hunt pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the charge and is due back at the Airport courthouse Feb. 24. She played the character Lizzie Spaulding on "Guiding Light" from 2003 to 2005 and Stacey Marasco on "One Life to Live" from 2008 to 2012.
January 16, 2014 | By Annlee Ellingson
Actor-turned-first-time-director Bruce Ramsay recasts "Hamlet" as a soap opera, setting Shakespeare's tragedy in post-World War II London instead of medieval Denmark, eschewing any mention of the play's encroaching war with Norway and compressing several months into one fateful night. The result is a focused, if at times melodramatic, take on the play's beating heart. Ramsay also stars as the Prince of Denmark, although it's unclear whether his family is meant to be literal royalty or metaphorical aristocrats.
December 2, 2013 | By Susan King
Producer Norman Lear had turned the family sitcom on its head in 1971 with his groundbreaking CBS comedy series "All in the Family. " Five years later, he revolutionized the soap opera with his weeknight satire "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," starring Louise Lasser as a suburban housewife living in the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio, obsessed with Reader's Digest and consumerism. In fact, in the series' first episode, Mary's more concerned about the waxy yellow buildup on her kitchen floor than an entire family - plus their goats and chickens - having been murdered in her neighborhood.
November 13, 2013 | By Meg James
It appears to be curtains again for "All My Children," the soap opera that ran four decades on ABC before being canceled, then resurrected as an Internet series. An actor on the series, Debbi Morgan, announced on Twitter that the show was "officially done" after one season on the Internet. "Thanks for the memories," Morgan tweeted late last week. Prospect Park, the production company behind the effort to keep the show alive, this week refused to discuss the situation or confirm Morgan's comment.
November 1, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
George A. Romero is known popularly as the father of the modern movie zombie because of his 1968 classic, "Night of the Living Dead. " But he recently had some less-than-flattering things to say about "The Walking Dead," the zombie TV series that wears its Romero influence on its sleeve. Speaking to the U.K. newspaper the Big Issue, Romero stated that he's chosen to stay far away from the AMC series, which is pushing zombies to the forefront of the pop culture zeitgeist. "They asked me to do a couple of episodes of 'The Walking Dead,' but I didn't want to be a part of it," Romero said.
September 3, 2013 | By Meg James
When Jeff Kwatinetz decided to turn the canceled ABC daytime dramas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" into shows for the Internet, he accidentally cast himself into a real-life soap opera as both the hero and the villain. To revive the soaps, Kwatinetz and his entertainment company Prospect Park had to find financing, do battle with labor unions, trade legal salvos with Walt Disney Co., and fight the zealous soap opera fans who were supposed to be his most ardent supporters.
June 28, 1985
Daytime soap opera celebrities will be signing autographs during the Ceramic, Hobby and Gift Show at the Anaheim Convention Center from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, Saturday and Sunday. Scheduled to participate in the autograph sessions throughout the day are Michael Damian (Danny Romalotti), Marla Adams (Dina Mergerand), Grant Cramer (Shawn Garrett) and Amy Gibson (Alana Anthony), all from "The Young and Restless," and many more.
March 25, 1985 | MATT WOLF, Associated Press
The trials and tribulations of the wealthy in Texas and Colorado may not appear to be sure-fire TV fodder for British audiences, but "Dallas" and "Dynasty" have picked up a big following here. "Wealth, power and sex is always a powerful formula," said David Platt, a senior programming assistant for the British Broadcasting Corp., the publicly financed organization that funds the BBC1 and BBC2 channels.
June 11, 2013 | By Lauren Beale
Soap opera actress Tracey E. Bregman has listed her Malibu estate for sale at $5.5 million. Casa de la Bella Mare sits behind gates on about 1.8 ocean-view estate acres. A tree-lined driveway leads to the 7,148-square-foot Mediterranean-style house, which features a grand hallway entrance with a skylight, an office with built-in desks, six bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. The formal living and dining rooms open to a swimming pool with spa and an outdoor entertainment area. PHOTOS: Grandest pool around?
April 10, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
IFC announced a development slate of 11 projects on Wednesday, three pilots and eight scripts, and based on their descriptions, the channel appears to be going even more idiosyncratic in its projects. Among the projects possibly coming soon to the channel are an '80s-style soap opera animated entirely with baby dolls and a buddy comedy about a struggling comic-book illustrator befriending a vampire from the future, titled "Jetpackula. " PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot moments The three pilots IFC has commissioned include "Timms Industrial Piping," the "Dynasty"-inspired series about the residents of Timms Valley, Wis., dealing with the disappearance of the founder and CEO of the town's biggest employer.
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