By Kimi

Just watched the first half of All My Children’s 40th Anniversary special, and must admit I was a bit disappointed.

It was great to see Hayley (Kelly Ripa) and Mateo (Mark Consuelos) on my screen again.  Ripa effortlessly stepped back into her character’s old pumps with ease, and it was hard to tell Hayley’s been gone for seven years! 

I wished somebody would’ve called JR though, and maybe given an honorable mention to their sister, Skye.  Its been so long since any of Amanda’s extended family was mentioned, I completely forgot she’s Hayley’s cousin! (love how she called Amanda’s kid “baby Pork chop” too – only an old school fan would catch that reference).  Hopefully we’ll get to see Ripa interact with them today. 

The scene where Hayley grilled Erica was weird but fun to watch, as she went all TMZ on Erica who surprisingly declined NOT to brag about her relationship with Ryan (Cameron Mathison). It was weird because I remember them being cool throughout Hayley’s time in Pine Valley and that scene seemed slightly antagonistic.

Not surprised that Hayley boarded the “I Hate Annie” bandwagon, but loved Adam’s analogy that people like Annie are what make Pine Valley the best town. His words rang true for every character in that room at some point during their time on the show.

Did anybody else get the impression we’ll be seeing either Max and/or Enzo in the near future? 

I felt bad for Consuelos, though.  His lines were nonexistent as he just kind of stood around like an extra while Ripa worked the room. For me the best were Hayley’s scenes catching with up her father, Adam (David Canary).  I miss them together.

But overall I felt cheated by Monday’s show.

Do the writers need to be reminded you only turn 40 once?  They should have saved the Greenlee/David/Hubbards/Madison and Ryan/Erica (after they left the Chandlers) stuff for Wednesday. 

I expected to see two full episodes of flashback type scenes as shown on the commercials and promos, and get a chance to reminisce about the storylines that carried this show through 40 years. Now they’ve got a whole lot to squeeze into an hour today, and hopefully they do the show’s history justice.

Also returning to share some memories are Julia Barr (Brooke English), Eva LaRue (Maria Santos Grey), Laurence Lau (Greg Nelson), Taylor Miller (Nina Cortlandt), James Mitchell (Palmer Cortlandt), Leven Rambin (Lily Montgomery) and Eden Riegel (Bianca Montgomery). I’m particularly interested to find out where that old coot Palmer’s been all this time.

Are you looking forward to today’s show?  What was your favorite All My Children moment or storyline?

I spent Saturday afternoon listening to four of daytime’s hottest stars dish about everything from things they hope for their characters to their most memorable or favorite scenes.
And, seasoned journalist that I am, captured it in my notes to share with you!
More good news: I had one-on-one interviews with them and will post those blogs later in the week.
Soap stars Cameron Mathison (Ryan, All My Children), Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, General Hospital), Winsor Harmon (Thorne, The Bold and the Beautiful) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael, The Young and the Restless) appeared at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL.
All four will be taking part in the 2nd voyage of the Soap Cruise, which departs out of Miami on Jan. 22, where fans get to mingle with 15 soap stars on a four-day cruise.
And I attended it with my good friend, fellow journalist and rabid soap fan Sharon Robb from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Two-hundred-plus fans joined us in a fun-filled two hour question and answer session and the fans (also rabid, but not literally) peppered the soap hunks with questions – no holds barred.
The guys ad-libbed everything and took their cues from the audience. It was great entertainment!
Christian ran around with the microphone from fan-to-fan and had the entire audience in stitches with his comments, while the others on stage engaged in repartee with him and the fans.
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They started off showing clips of each of the actors from their respective shows.
Cameron asked the audience how they liked Christian’s clip.
“How many Emmys do you have…like 14?” he asked Christian.
To which Christian responded in mock modesty…”Ca-a-mer-o-n-n-n. Stop talking about my Emmys! It’s embarrassing.”
When one fan asked Bradford to sing with her, he called her up onstage to sing solo – and the two finished the song together!
Here are some other highlights:
Question to Christian: Are you going to get your dad out of jail?
Answer: Christian said he’s “thrilled” to be working with Michael Gross, who plays his father, River, on Y&R. Gross is best known as Steven Keaton on the 80’s sitcom “Family Ties.”
“He’s in jail because the feds caught him and my step-father turned him in. You know how that can be,” Christian answered.
From the stage Winsor said, “Sounds like bad writing to me!”
“Win-sor!” Christian said. “It’s a half hour….Only a half hour, isn’t that sad?” referring to the fact that B&B is a half-hour compared to the other soaps’ hour format.
“Just because we get paid more to do less work,” Winsor retorted.
Actually, the two actors film their soaps across the hall from each other in the same studio and the two constantly joke around with each other.
One fan asked Bradford if he would visit the fans at 1 a.m. at the Disney World gates – like he did last year – when he brought fans food and soda while they camped out waiting for Super Soap Weekend to begin. SSW 2008 is this weekend, Nov. 15 and 16.
Because he will taking part in Street Jam this year, Bradford said he has to take better care of himself and not stay up all night.
“Last year, I went out and kind of slept with the crowd on the concrete,” Bradford said. “I won’t be able to do that this year. Number one, because I’d be too tired and number two they forbid me to do that again.”
A woman told Cameron that she loved watching him on “Dancing With The Stars” and that his Superman number was the best dance of the entire season.
Cameron said, “It is phenomenally difficult beyond anything that I could possibly say and add to that I was traveling 3,000 miles to work full-time in New York (filming AMC). It was just insane, but it was fun. Pretty intense.”
A fan asked Winsor if his character, Thorne, will get a love interest.
“We’re in the process of shooting stuff right now regarding where Thorne’s heading with the love interest,” Winsor said. “She’s somebody new on the canvas.”
Question: What are the most difficult scenes that you’ve had to do?
Bradford said the most challenging scenes for him were when Georgie was killed on GH and he found her body.
“It was a great challenge and allowed my character to evolve,” Bradford said. “But we lost a great actress and a great character.”
Well, that’s all for now.
Check back here and I’ll have more from Hard Rock interviews this week.
Coming up this weekend, LIVE FROM SUPER SOAP 2008.

Calling all ABC soap fans!
Super Soap Weekend 2008 is set for Nov. 15 and 16 at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM) in Orlando, FL.
Yessiree, mark the dates on your calendar.
The list of attending soap stars is not out yet.
Last year, the final list didn’t get finalized until October, if I remember correctly….but some of the names trickle in beginning in August or September as some of the stars post their upcoming appearance on their websites.
Just think, you can get thisclose to your fave ABC soap star.
I did!
Me with Michael E.Knight (Tad) from All My ChildrenSuper Soap 2007 058.JPG
Do you believe there’s a fence separating us?
Well, there is.
You see, I couldn’t get a fast pass to see Michael E. Knight one-on-one.
His passes were gone by the time I reached the beginning of the AMC fast-pass line in the morning.
He is so popular, because he really makes the fan experience fun.
Do I look like I’m having fun, or what?
So anyway, I waited outside the railing where he was signing autographs and taking photos, because I knew from the previous year that he comes to the railing after he has met all of his fast-pass holders.
And he did!
I asked for a photo and he pulled me close, grabbed my camera, held it out in front of us – and wha-la – an amazing photo!
Michael E. Knight is truly a fan favorite because he goes above and beyond for his fans.
And he’s not the only one I met.
Because if you’re quick on your feet and get up at the crack of dawn, you can meet more than one by pulling more than one fast-pass.
Plus, there’s a whole slew of panel discussions and interactive activities involving the fans and the soap stars.
Keep an eye here at Soapbox, because Kara and I will be updating SSW 2008 news as it becomes available.
If you’ve never gone to this fun-filled weekend, it’s a must for ABC soap fans.
And if you’re an ABC soap fan, Hollywood Studios Disney World is truly the most magical place on earth that weekend.