Brad Bell Hosting Obama Fundraiser
President Obama may think twice about holding his next press conference during the soaps. “The Bold & the Beautiful” executive producer Brad Bell is hosting a $38,800 a plate fundraising dinner for the President at his Holmby Hills estate, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If that’s a little too pricy for your budget, for only $250, you can sit on Brad’s lawn earlier in the day and hear “a line-up of musical acts.” Maybe B&B’s singing sailor Jack Wagner will perform. Apparently, Brad’s wife, Colleen, who is also B&B’s fashion consultant, is a major “bundler” for Obama. (According to the non-partison political website OpenSecrets, bundlers are people who, “people with friends in high places who, after bumping against personal contribution limits, turn to those friends, associates, and, well, anyone who’s willing to give, and deliver the checks to the candidate in one big “bundle.”) The Bells are co-hosting the event with Will Farrell and his wife. Given that most of Hollywood supports the President, and that only members of the One Percent can afford to donate what amounts to a year’s salary for a lot of Americans, it promises to be a very A-List evening, filled with movie and primetime stars who both have millions of dollars and confidence that their genre of entertainment will still exist a year from now.
Between Colleen’s political activism, and “The Young & the Restless” headwriter Maria Bell’s work as the chair of the Museum of Contemporary Arts, the reality show about soaps that I want to see is The Bells, the behind-the-scenes story of the family that creates the world’s most popular soap operas by day, and are powerful Los Angeles socialites by night. Are you listening, E!? That would be far more interesting than “Dirty Soap,” which, according to cast member Jenna Gering, will not be back for a second season.
“The Revolution” Tanks In Its First Week
Preliminary reports indicated that America was not tuning in to watch “One Life To Live’s” replacement,”The Revolution.” Now the national ratings for the show’s first week confirm it. “The Revolution” averaged 1.6 million total viewers, for a 1.3/4 Household rating, 0.6/3 Women18-49 and 0.8/4 in Women 25-54. In comparison to OLTL’s season-to-date performance, “The Revolution” is down -37% in total viewers, -35% in Households, -43% in Women 18-49 and -40% in Women 25-54. In a totally unfair comparison to OLTL’s final week, “The Revolution” dropped -46% in total viewers, -44% in Households, -53% in Women 18-49 and -51% in Women 25-54.
Lesley-Anne Down Off Contract At “The Bold & the Beautiful”
“The Bold & the Beautiful” has opted not to renew Lesley-Anne Down’s (Jackie) contract. The star broke the news on her website, saying, “Bradley Bell has decided not to renew Lesley-Anne Down’s contract on B&B. Lesley-Anne wants all of you to know how special and important you all are to her… When one door closes another one opens. This thankfully has been the case in this instance. We will let you know what it is when the time is right.”
B&B is known for taking actors off contract, but still using them on a recurring basis. It remains to be seen whether Jackie will simply be less prominent, or whether she is leaving the show entirely. Jackie was one of my favorite B&B characters. The show’s resident cougar could solve all of Hope and Steffy’s romantic angst by explaining to them that relationships and sex are supposed to be based on lust and friendship, not obsession. I think her relationship with the much younger Owen was a fun aspirational fantasy for a lot of female viewers. I will miss her intelligence and joie de vivre. I hope that the Down’s cryptic remark about a new opportunity means that she is joining the cast of “Downton Abbey.” As a castmember of the original “Upstairs Downstairs,” it would be fitting.
Ringer Executive Producers on Soap Stars
The primetime soap noir”Ringer” has featured many daytime stars and alums in guest roles, most notably “The Young & the Restless” Billy Miller, who was the major villain of the first half of the season. Brody Hutzler of “Days of Our Lives” and “Y&R appears in the show’s mid-season premiere on Tuesday, January 31st. Given that the series stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, a soap alumna who openly admits she is still a fan of the genre, it seemed possible that “Ringer” might be deliberately casting actors with daytime experience. So. at a recent junket, I asked the series creators Nicole Snyder if that was the case. Said Snyder, “It’s so funny. A lot of people have that reaction but my response is [soap actors] learn their lines the quickest. They’re all good looking and they’re really talented. I think it’s just coincidence that we have a lot of soap people but we’ve just been lucky to get good actors. Billy Miller got cast the day we started shooting [his role] and came in two hours later with his lines perfect so we love soap people. She also revealed some information about the character Nic Robuck (James “One Life to Live”) will play later this spring. “Nic has a very fun, flirtatious episode with Juliet (Zoey Deutch). That’s as much as I can say, but they’re adorable together.”