Deep Soap: Will Kristoff St. John Leave Y&R? Can Brenda Save GH?

Vanessa Marcil (Photo: ABC)

Vanessa Marcil (Photo: ABC)

Hot Rumor: Is Kristoff St. John Leaving Y&R for the Wayans Brothers?

Kristoff St. John has played ‘The Young & The Restless’s‘ Neil Winters since 1991, winning an Emmy for the role in 2008.  Is the actor tired of playing the buttoned down executive? Rumor has it that he is departing the show to take a role in a new comedy pilot produced by the Wayans Brothers.  It is unclear at this time whether this would be a short term leave so he could film the project, or a permanent exit from Genoa City. Neil has not had a major storyline on Y&R for a while.  The character’s romance with Ashley (Eileen Davidson) fizzled.  But Julia Pace Mitchell has been cast in the new role of Sofia, Tucker’s CFO, a character who seems likely to be a potential love interest for Neil.  St. John’s unexpected departure could alter the storyline.  A spokesperson for ‘The Young & The Restless’ says that the show does not comment on rumors.

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It’s A Brenda, Brenda,  Brenda World

ABC is very, very excited about the return of Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo to ‘General Hospital.’ So excited that I am starting to think it’s overkill, and I’m semi-seriously considering throwing a Brenda’s Back party with cake and cocktails on August 11th, the first day of her return.  In an unprecedented move, ABC Daytime is pre-empting ‘All My Children‘ and ‘One Life To Live’  on August 10th to air three hours of classic episodes which the network has dubbed “Brenda Barrett’s Men: A Special General Hospital Marathon.” (According to ABC, the definitive guide to Brenda’s men consists of: Sonny interrupting Brenda’s wedding to Jax by showing up with Jax’s first wife Miranda, Brenda reminiscing about her relationship with Sonny after he leaves her at the alter, and Brenda’s wedding to Jason.)  With hundreds of great episodes to choose from, why pick one that involved Miranda, a character who inspired Stacy Morasco level hatred?

Mr. & Mystery: Did ‘CSI: NY’ Star Wed GH’s Vanessa Marcil?

That is just the beginning of the Brendapalooza. SoapNet will count down what it deems the 25 greatest Brenda moments beginning July 17th.  There will be a  Sonny and Brenda marathon, featuring some really awesome episodes including Brenda and Sonny in Puerto Rico, on SoapNet August 15th.  ABC’s press release promises that the August 6th and August 9th episodes of GH will also be chock full of Brenda flashbacks.

I am all for flashbacks to remind viewers of Brenda’s history and initiate those who were not watching during the 1990s.  I am looking forward to watching classic episodes from the days when I rushed home from work to watch the show. But pre-empting ABC’s daytime entire daytime line-up seems like overkill.  There are plenty of ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life To Live’ viewers who do not watch GH and will be irritated.  If Daytime Confidential’s rumor that ABC wants to air more reruns of soaps for budgetary reasons is true, this could be the true motivation for the Brenda Channel.  I am also concerned that GH is placing all its eggs in one Brenda, as it were.  What if, despite all the hype, this is not the start of a glorious new era for the soap?  What if, like Jonathan Jackson and James Franco, a lot of publicity does not translate into ratings? With this much build up, viewers will be disappointed if Brenda’s first episodes are not as brilliant as the original clink-boom.  That’s a lot of weight for Marcil Giovinazzo to carry on her petite shoulders.

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

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