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0 July 12th, 2010 Are Daytime Soaps Finally Getting Any Respect?

Courtesy/ABC

In a new post from blogger, Jeremy Helligar in his Pump Up The Volume posts on  the True/Slant beta version website, he looks at the move of many big-name motion picture and primetime television stars doing guest appearances on daytine soaps, and if indeed, it is making a dent in the ratings of the industry.  Here are a few excerpts ,which starts with James Franco’s recent second stint at GH!

Helligar writes, “Not that it seems to matter to Franco (the actor and the character) — or GH’s suits. On June 30, they brought Franco back to GH for an encore, and this time Oscar nominee Bruce Davison (Longtime Companion) is along for the ride in a three-episode stint as Franco’s art dealer. (Davison debuted on July 9.) Meanwhile, four-time Emmy winner and former The Waltons star Michael Learned has been appearing on GH since April in the recurring role of terminal cancer patient Shirley Smith. (Poor Learned. She played a similar bed-ridden recurring role on Scrubs. It would be nice to see 71-year-old Olivia Walton up and about in a guest-starring stint for a change.)

Over at Days of Our Lives, Learned’s former Waltons husband and two-time Emmy nominee Ralph Waite has been appearing on and off as Father Matt since February of last year. In a possibly unintended coincidence, on one of last week’s GH episodes, Shirley was detailing her romantic history, and the name of one of her exes happend to be… Ralph. Also crossing over to daytime is Sean Young (on The Young and the Restless) and Flashdance star Michael Nouri, who recently appeared on the FX cable series Damages and in the 2009 Sandra Bullock hit The Proposal. He’s currently on contract on All My Children as Erica Kane’s soon-to-be love interest Caleb Cooney.

I’m not sure how I feel about all of this stunt casting. Most of daytime’s crossover stars still work regularly on prime time and in film, so in a sense, they are taking jobs from out-of-work actors all over New York and L.A., where the six remaining soaps are based. (After 54 years on TV, As the World Turns will air for the final time on September 17.) Plus the ratings of the daytime dramas continue to drop, so there has been no discernible positive affect from a business stand point. As for the characters themselves, most of them haven’t been fan favorites and are expendable.”

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