Deep Soap: ‘All My Children’ Recasts Bianca

Eden Riegel and Christina Bennett Lind (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images/Laura-Marie Duncan)

Eden Riegel and Christina Bennett Lind (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images/Laura-Marie Duncan)

Recast Roulette: AMC Finds Its New Bianca

‘All My Children’ has cast soap newcomer Christina Bennett Lind in the role of Bianca.  Wouldn’t it have been funny if they hired Vail Bloom, who former Bianca Eden Riegel replaced as Heather on ‘The Young & The Restless?’ It would have been a funny story, anyway.  Bloom would be so wrong for the role of the inherently good Bianca.  Based on this photo, Lind looks a lot like Reigel. I don’t think there has been a recast who looked so much like her predecessor since Bree Williamson replaced Erin Torpey as Jessica on ‘One Life To Live.’  The resemblance is not as strong in the picture that accompanies the TV Guide story. Assuming she is a good actress, their physical similarity will make the recast less jarring.

Lind has her resume posted on her website.  She has done a lot of theater as well as some tiny television and film roles.  This is definitely her big break.  The most intriguing tidbit: she has an identical twin who is also an actress.  If Lind does not work out, recasting will be easy.  I just hope this does not inspire the writers to give Bianca a lookalike.

AMC’s Executive Producer Julie Carruthers makes it sound like the show realized how important the role of Bianca is. “Eden brought an integrity and honest innocence to the role that was very tough to match. We turned the earth upside going through the candidates. When Christina came in to read for the part she was Bianca. I think it’ll be a very easy transition for the audience.”  I sure hope so.  It is hard to imagine anyone but Riegel in the role, but the show needs Bianca.

Bianca is coming back on June 14th to search for a missing Erica (Susan Lucci).  Fans who read spoilers know that Erica will be flashdancing in the mountains with a new character played by Michael Nouri. Fortunately, Bianca’s lying skank of a girlfriend Reese will remain in Paris with Bianca’s kids.  Carruthers claims she wants to continue to play their relationship.  I hope the writers disagree.  Reese was an awful character. Bianca and Reese should break up off-camera and then Bianca can fall for a new woman who will not hit on her brother-in-law. Good luck to Lind with doing justice to this iconic role.

Crazy Soap Quote of the Day

In an interesting interview with Sony TV president Steve Mosko, he revealed that at least one fan of ‘The Young & The Restless’ got a little too upset when Eric Braeden (Victor) temporarily left the show during an acrimonious contract negotiation.

You have two long-surviving soap operas, ‘Days of Our Lives’ and ‘The Young and the Restless.’ How long can they keep going?

The great ones will be around forever, and the good news is we’ve seen growth in both soaps. I learned the hard way how passionate the audience is about these shows. We were in contract negotiation with [‘The Young and the Restless’ star] Eric Braden  [sic] and there was some disagreement over it — and the show’s fans were up in arms. Some people were kind of getting angry with me. I had death threats based on not getting the Eric Braden [sic] deal done.

Setting aside the hilarity of the  Los Angeles Times’ misspelling Braeden’s last name (leave the typos to me, ostensibly respectable newspapers!), this is the sort of thing that makes soap fans look bad. I am sure that death threat came from one nutbar who did not actually harbor violent tendencies, but boy was he or she misguided. Mosko seems to be the one executive who is truly committed to keeping soaps on the air.  I can’t remember the last time I heard a member of the PTB make a statement as pro soap as, “The great ones will be around forever.”  That’s a far cry from CBS topper’s Les Moonves’ dismissive remarks about the genre after canceling ‘As The World Turns.‘ If Sony had given up on DOOL two years when Jeff Zucker announced he planned to cancel the show in 2009, Executive Producer Ken Corday would not have been able to save it on his own.

Not coincidentally, as the article explains, Sony still earns money from DOOL and Y&R. It uses the licensing fees paid by CBS and NBC to produce the shows, then sells them all over the world to make a profit.  If P&G and ABC put more effort into maximizing their shows international potential, daytime might be healthier. Since the licensing fees are getting cut, the studio has had to institute some draconian budget cuts that have unfortunately forced everyone to who works on the shows to take pay cuts.  But it’s a lot better than the alternative of letting the shows die. Crazy Eric Braeden fan, the next time you decide to threaten a stranger’s life… well, don’t… but might I suggest doing your research before attacking someone who is trying to keep your favorite show on the air.

Too Hot For TV

I neglected to post about this last week because I wanted to make sure it was not just a bad cable day at my house, but I am floored by ABC’s decision to blur out portions of Lulu (Julie Berman) and Dante’s  (Dominic Zamprogna) PG-13 sex scene on ‘General Hospital.’  Apparently Berman’s cleavage is too scandalous for viewers’ delicate eyes.  I have seen more skin in daytime before. I am sure the director made sure that every body part whose appearance could result in an FCC fine was covered.  Who is the prude in ABC’s Standards and Practices department who is convinced that GH fans would be offended by a glimpse of a portion of someone’s breast?

Come Out of the Closet, Colbert

Wednesday night, Stephen Colbert opened his show by congratulating ‘General Hospital’ on its 18 Daytime Emmy nominations.  This is yet another random soap reference on ‘The Report.’ The evidence is mounting:  he is a closet ABC daytime fan. He saved U.S. Speedskating.  It would be great if he mounted one of his tongue in cheek crusades on behalf of soaps.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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