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23 June 1st, 2011 INTERVIEW: Crystal Chappell announces plans for new Web Soap!

Daytime’s enterprising superstar, Crystal Chappell spoke with On-Air On-Soaps for the skinny on her plans for her exciting new web soap, and her concept of developing, producing, and housing a very special online network of series. Chappell, ever the mover and shaker and visionary, has some exciting plans for her fans and twitter followers everywhere. In fact, her new series is a collaboration with her talented husband, Michael Sabatino! We will let Crystal fill you in on the rest!

Already the hardest working woman in soaps, tell us about your new project!

CRYSTAL: My intention from the beginning was to create various online content and create an online network. So, what I have been doing is developing other projects. And the one I just finished is one that I have been developing with Michael Sabatino, my husband. There are so many daytime actors who are going to be out of work soon. So I thought I would love to be able to pull some talent into this new show. But I can say it will star me and Jessica Leccia.  It has a classic soap structure about a wealthy family vs. the working class.  It has been fun to write, and it’s called The Grove. It’s about a family who lives in sort of a Topanga Canyon (California) grove area, and comes down to a slice of life family business of nouveau-riche versus the working class. I have also started my company called New Voice Productions. With The Grove, getting to work with Michael on this has been a lot of fun.  And you never know how that stuff is going to go! (Laughs)  I am very decisive. So I love collaboration, but at the end of the day I know what I want. And, my husband has put up with me for years. (Laughs)  He will say to me, “You know Crystal, you are a passionate person. And, if someone comes to you with a stronger argument than your own, you concede.” This is why I should have been an attorney! (Laughs)  I am excited about The Grove.  I am planning on shooting it in October and it will probably be the end of the year before it’s put up online. There are two or three other projects I want to do that are more reality based, and eventually I would like to create an online network where you can go in and buy certain packages.

If The Grove is a classic soap, will the LGBT community be represented?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CRYSTAL: I can tell you that I play a married woman to another beautiful woman, and the show is about families. There will be all kinds of people and characters in the show.  It is not Otalia, but it is Otalia-esque. I feel like what I loved about that story was the simplicity. I remember Jessica Leccia and I would talk about this going, “God, are they going to want to watch us folding laundry?” We were not sure about a lot of stuff, but it became such an important lesson for me, because something about it was just so simple and the purity of their love.  I think people will be very happy.  I think the LGBT community will be OK with this. My perspective on my own world that I live in is that I surround myself with all walks of life: heterosexual, homosexual, Caucasian, African-American, etc. I live in a world that is diverse, thankfully.  So those stories are very much part of the new show.

Now with the soon-to-be available talent pool from OLTL and AMC, will  some of those performers be on your radar for roles in the new series?

CRYSTAL: I am a huge fan of One Life to Live and the cast, and a lot of my friends have gone over to All My Children, and even the people I don’t personally, I am a big fan of. And in what we do, it is a very collaborative and creative effort that shoots really fast. The Grove is about getting back to family strife and all the stuff that comes with relationships. The soaps I remember growing up with are also my inspiration for this series.  I would love to have some of the OLTL cast come on the show, and I have spoken with some actresses from GH, too. It has been nice that people are willing to take a chance and get in on something from the ground floor.  I know my IT team is building out The Grove site, but they are also building out the New Voice site, and a lot of great people are coming aboard.  I think it is very exciting and we will get to hopefully use these actors and see their beautiful talent and faces on-screen again.

How many shows do you see yourself producing to be part of your online network platform?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

CRYSTAL: I don’t see a limit, and with the help of these wonderful fans we have been able to create an online show.  It’s not inexpensive. The fact that we have been able to do it, and they have been so passionate and loyal, then they will go and support it.  The second we were able to do that meant that we could do this show and grow it. The fact that sponsors are contacting us is a good thing. So I don’t see why we need to put a limit on something unless it starts to become detrimental to the overall network.

You seem to be so inspired by twitter and your legions of followers who you communicate with so often. Are they having some input as to how you cast the new series?

CRYSTAL: I do have a casting wish list and a lot of my casting ideas have come from twitter,  honestly.  I get told all the time who should be on the show, and so I finally got in touch with those actors, and the performers have been positive in responding. So I think I can say the twitter fan base will enjoy The Grove. And, what is good about this is that I have the internet teams that I need to make things go more smoothly, and so the viewers and the audience will be more than taken care of.

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  1. Lisa says:

    The Grove sounds really intriguing and since I’m already familiar with the Topanga canyon — it sounds even more attractive for me. I love Jessica and Crystal acting together so I’ll watch it. Kudos to Crystal for always being creative.


  2. Kelly says:

    I Love And Respect Crystal More Everyday. Her Love and Support for her fellow Cast Mates and Dool’s, Venice Cast Members. I Am So proud of her and all she does. She Always is There for her fans on twitter. I am Very Glad she is doing this storyline. It Hits home. Thanks To Crystal, i Now see how hard it is too stop. and there are many things that happen to make someone start taking Drugs. i Admire and Respect her more for it.. Love the interview and can’t wait for The Glove. Thanks Michael, For All You Do. Love and Respect Michael Sabatino, Crystal Chappell Sabatino. Kelly from CT


  3. Doc says:

    Very intrigued by Crystal and Michael’s new show. Sounds very GL esque and very soapy!


  4. eiwcakeff says:

    she is certainly a powerhouse and has all this ideas– my wish for her list Rebecca Herbst they would be good together–I would love to see becky play a daughter/sister/mother of great wealth she has the right look for what most people think of as ‘old money’ and can play any emotion given her.

    good luck Crystal


  5. Perla says:

    Now that I got an insight about the new websoap I’m getting more excitted. Thank you CC for this wonderful interwiew and Mr.Fairman thank for sharing this with us all.


  6. Patty says:

    Good luck to Crystal. Honest, articulate and beautiful. Looking forward to her new projects.


  7. SunshineSharon says:

    Crystal Chappell is a visionary who not only dreams but has the writing, acting, directing & producing talent to make her dreams come to reality. I will follow her whereever she goes because I love her & love that she always thinks of the fans first. We are her friends & will wait with excitement & support for whatever she brings us. The Grove with Jessica Leccia sounds like a winner from Crystal & Michael Sabatino. Thank you Crystal, you are simply the BEST. Hugs


  8. Ali says:

    You have to give a hand to Crystal that no matter what tries to kick her down she’s already working on something new and better. She’s got great ideas and she is not afraid to put the work in to make them happen. Crystal is a soap fan as am I and I know she knows what fellow soap fans want. Crystal is a great role model for woman but I am sure she would just say she’s doing what she loves while giving us that sexy smile of hers. I came to Days with Crystal and I will leave with her too.
    Michael, thanks for this nice interview with Crystal.


  9. Ceridwyn2 says:

    I wish her all the best. She’s such a pioneer. Love her work and her initiative. Will continue to support her projects! :)


  10. keeva99 says:

    Bloody awesome!


  11. EILEENCAB says:



  12. Doe says:

    What a great role model for aspiring actors and writers in this webisodes medium.Chrystal is not only one of the most beautiful actresses, but one of the most caring people in the soap opera world .I will be looking for her newest projects and have the greatest admiration for what she is going to accomplish. Best of luck, Chrystal and hubby, Michael.


  13. kim says:

    Good Yuck Crystal, I’m such a big fan.


  14. Mine says:

    I have faith that Crystal’s New Voice Productions will be amazing. I see this being the smartest idea for soaps. You can watch anytime of the day. Don’t have to worry about TPTB getting upset over ever little thing. I know Crystal will get it right. She listens to what her fans want.


  15. Anne-Marie says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I will totally be watching The Grove from the very first episode…


  16. CW says:

    I wish Crystal Chappell all the best for her future (and futuristic) endeavors. The Grove sounds very intriguing. I love the idea of the Irish Catholic families from both sides of the track.


  17. Jessi says:

    CC is a smart and talented woman, Im sure this show will be a hit! But I do have worries… Web is still new and I feel she should have still worked on Venice for a bit… but who knows! I hope im wrong! Good luck CC!


  18. Paula says:

    I’m so inspired by CC. She give us something to look forward to, give me engery, make me want to feel positive about a lot of things. I will support CC in everything she does. She is so awesome. I feel the love that vibes from her and her name. You go girl and I’m always in your corner!


  19. Rachelle says:

    I’m super excited to see The Grove and especially more acting chemistry with CC and JL!!!! Just something about those two that can grab viewers and pull us in. I absolutely will watch them folding laundry lol. Crystal seems such an amazing person, I don’t know how she does it all- but am so thankful she does.


  20. Sue Ellen Korth Turok says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Crystal and her then, future husband,
    Michael Sabatino, when they were both acting together on Days of Our Lives in 1992, at a benefit to raise money for children who had cancer. My husband and I were very impressed by them and wish them all the luck in the world in their new creation. They knew I was an Art Therapist, working at the National Cancer Institute, Pediatric Branch, and were very curious about the work I did and the patients I worked with. They were both personable and obviously very intelligent and a great looking couple, dating each other at that time. Not wanting to pry, I kept any questions about their relationship only asking about their roles on “Days” when I met them. It was obvious that they were very much in love. They are very down to earth and were a treat to act with them and Crystall was very gracious since I stunk playing Vivian Alamain with her and she gave me a kiss and hugged me when our brief skit was done. She really is a doll and so is her now, husband, Michael. I’m a great fan of both of them and was delighted to have met them. I’m sure she’ll do well in any future things they both create. They are very talented and creative people. My husband and I truly enjoyed meeting them, as well as Charles Shaunessy and Robert Kelker-Kelley. I wish them all the success in the world. Sue Ellen.


  21. Sharonda Price(blueruby price) says:

    I don’t mind seeing the new show called Grove my self and it sound very Interesting to me and if Crystal says that it’s gonna be that good(Grand) than hey I’m all for it.
    just keep me posted because I don’t wanna miss it!
    I would love to see Crystal and Jessica Leccia working together more again because
    they are very good together and I’m still full from the V.T.S and now that I’m all caught
    up with the G.L. ending Episodes etc. now I can take a little breather and sit back and
    relax for a minute to jump off into The new show called Voice Productions(Grove)
    My new idea would be Crystal and Jessica living on a Ranch called the outback with a little Venicetheseries lemon/kiwe purple strawaberry topanga canyon california mix twist.Now thats what you call living it up but keeping it on the down low style can you dig it! now that would be the bomb like WOW!
    I’d look up to CC and JL because these two beautiful ladies are very Awesome to me and I like their style and they got good taste and it’s in a class by it self..G.L and all of the other soaps and Venicetheseries have me laughing really hard until my stomach hurts and they also have me crying. and I’m telling you CC and JL( and other actors)
    are truely good.I’ve been watching soaps way back in the mid 70′s.CC & JL is my two Queen Princess.can you Imagine crystal and jessica ridding on a horse together near the California beach relaxing after a long hard day from working!(picture it like wow it will take your breath away) But you just can’t seem to get Enough of these Beautiful ladies.
    I sure would love to meet CC and JL in person some day.Love always your Big fan keep up the good work Ladies! P.S. CC are you gonna come up with an idea for the fans to write to your new productions show? for an Example:fans expression by sending in pomes,arts and crafts and the Questions that the Interview ask you perhaps you can ask us fans the same questions or come up with something similar to it I hope so..


  22. maddy says:

    I can’t wait to see Crystal and Jessica act together onscreen with more screen time ..I loved Otalia touched my life in so many beautiful and positive ways..brought me the most beautiful warm-loving friends from all over the world..there will never be another Otalia..Olivia and Natalia but perhaps The Grove will be the closest thing to it…


  23. Lynne Laettner says:

    I can’t wait. I am so looking forward to The Grove. Especially seeing Crystal and Jessica working together is awesome. All they have to do is be talking to each other and you can see the chemistry and love they have for each other and their fans. They are wonderful women and oh so talented.


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