Daytime icon Debbi Morgan slips out of Angie's pumps and into Harmony's combat boots
MSN TV: How is life at "The Young and the Restless"?
Debbi Morgan: I just tweeted how wonderful, warm and welcoming the whole cast and crew has been. It helps, too, because with "All My Children" ending, [suddenly I'm] the new kid on the block. It's always a bit intimidating and awkward.
You were cast on this show before "All My Children" was over: How flattering was it to get snapped up so quickly?
That was quite flattering, I must say. (laughs) I enjoyed that. Hey, I'm not going to lie. Everyone says, "When one door closes, another door opens," but in this business, another door many not open for a year or longer.
Do you see anyone else from Pine Valley as a good fit for Genoa City?
Rebecca Budig is so fabulous and gorgeous. She'd be wonderful. There were so many wonderful actors on "All My Children." I could see a bunch of them coming to "Y&R." Boy, when I think about not going in and seeing those faces anymore, that's just hard. You're talking about people you've been with for 25 to 30 years. It's like the end of a marriage.
It must help to see your former costar Jacob Young ("The Bold and the Beautiful," Rick) in the hallway, from time to time?
My very first day at CBS, I hear somebody go, "Debbi!" I ran and jumped up in his arms. He looked really happy. I haven't seen him since. I'm going to have to go across the hall a check on him.
If and when "All My Children" relaunches online, would you be OK with them recasting Angie?
Hell no! They better send Angie off to Africa to deal with starving children, and Jesse can go visit her every once in a while. I would have a hard time accepting that.
One of the reasons news of your casting first broke was that you blogged that you were definitely not taking on the role of Victoria Rowell's Drucilla: Have you talked to her about joining her show?
Actually, she sent me an email and asked me point blank if I was going to be taking her part. I told her in no uncertain terms, absolutely not. That would be like someone trying to play Angie. She has a huge fan following and I would be scared to death! Her fans would be so angry. I told her, "Vicki, I would not want to be handed that baton." Nobody could fill those shoes.
You're wearing new combat boots instead! How does your new character, Harmony, compare to Dr. Angie?
She's a lot spicier. After playing Angie for so long, as much as I love her and she'll always be in my heart, it's nice to sink my teeth into a character that is edgier. She's not pulled together, like Angie was, and hasn't had the education Angie had. She's from the street and is coming from this drug addicted life. You couldn't have lived two more different lives than these two women. I'm excited!
Do they have anything in common?
They both have this tremendous love for their sons, but the dynamic of those relationships are completely different. Because of Harmony not being the parent she should have been, Devon ended up in foster care. She has a lot to make up for, and I don't see anybody making it easy for her, especially not her own family.
Does Harmony still have feelings for her baby daddy, Tucker?
There's some residual stuff still there. Even though she was just another notch on his belt, he was her first love. He totally turned his back on her when it was revealed she was pregnant and it's something she's never forgotten. Then when she sees him for the first time, he doesn't even recognize her. If that's not a slap in the face! Along with the anger, bitterness and hurt, there is some other stuff going on, so I'm going to have a lot of interesting things to play in this relationship. Right now, he's madly in love with Ashley, but hey, who knows...
Back in the '70s, you and Peter Bergman (Jack) were blasted by hate mail when "All My Children" tried to pair you together: Do you think the 2011 audience is more accepting of interracial romance?
One of the reasons I know it's changed is that it's not even something that stuck in my head when I heard Stephen Nichols was going to be the father. 25 years ago, my immediate thought was, "Wow, I wonder how fans are going to accept this?" I thought it first, so I knew others were going to think about it, and I got a lot of hate mail.
We have a long way to go in the country when it comes to racial issues, sadly, but in television, we've moved a lot further along than we have in the real world.
Many fans are hoping you'll be paired with Kristoff St. John, who you worked with on "Generations." Do you see that in the cards?
I've loved Kristoff for years, but to this point, I've only had two short scenes with him. Neil was a bit snippy with Harmony. I didn't quite care for that. (laughs) I don't know if they're planning to put me with him, but wouldn't it be great if they did a whole foursome thing -- maybe Neil, Ashley, Tucker and Harmony all in this mix?
Going back to your first comment, you're not really "new" -- You already knew and worked with much of this cast.
The soap world is a tiny circle, and getting smaller every day. [The] thing that gets me is I don't know anybody who knows anybody who knows anybody who has a doggone Nielsen box! There are so many people that watch and DVR the shows, and those people aren't accounted for. Does anybody know why that antiquated Nielsen is still around?
"The Young and the Restless" airs weekdays on CBS.
Halfway through the season, some club members reach their breaking point
Like all long form television, "Sons of Anarchy" has its strengths and its weaknesses, but it is one of the few where those areas are so closely intertwined. The show has never been afraid of showing consequences proportionate to the characters' actions, and raising the stakes to a point where it seems there is no way out for anyone. Everyone is consistently faced with choices that seem to fall into the categories of "horrible" and "every worse", and the writers (usually) never cheat their way out of the traps they set for the folks in Charming. Unfortunately, getting to these intense confrontations always seems to involve a lot of shoving people into situations based on flimsy pretexts, such as Juice mixed-race issue, or Tara meekly going along with Jax's "retirement" plan or Linc's threat tonight to Eli (a phone call to his superiors – the horror!). But once we arrive at each individual's limit, the committed performances and strong dialogue can still carry the day.
Two people made bold choices in "Fruit for the Crows": Bobby's call for an "officer challenge" and Juice's suicide attempt. It may seem odd that this gunrunning, drug-dealing, mayhem-inducing motorcycle gang relies on parliamentary procedure to determine its fate, but the result is the same a palace coup. How many people will back up Bobby's vote of no confidence in Clay? And where will that leave Jax? Naturally, there will be events to postpone this vote, but that might only serve to undermine Clay even more.
One of those events will surely be the fallout from Juice's actions, which were left tantalizingly unclear. Even if he survives, his future is incredibly dark, thanks to the ice cold water running through Linc Potters veins. And despite the thin motivations behind this development, the emotions rang true in all of the moments leading up to that final one. Theo Rossi has been mainly a comic relief player for a few seasons, and it was great to watch him knock all of his scenes out of the park, particularly his eyes filling with tears as Clay tells him he loves him. I can only imagine this is all going to end very badly, and that makes me sad.
- FBI agent Potter is nowhere near as crazy as our old friend Stahl, but he is just as determined to destroy SAMCRO by any means necessary. Ray McKinnon makes the sociopathic most out of his brief scenes.
- The centerpiece of the attack on the Mayans, leading to Jax's chase of the shooters and the horrific carnage in the Mexican family's apartment, was executed so strongly that I almost don't care that I didn't quite know what was going on.
- Ima is like a scared little porn bunny now. Any bets on whether Bobby decides that Jax's assault on her was beyond the pale and uses it as more evidence of the club's new (and bad) direction?
June Diane Raphael to play lesbian OB/GYN
Sadie happens to be a lesbian, which has no bearing on an OB/GYN's livelihood. However, improperly dispensing medication might: When Jess' roomie, Nick (Jake Johnson), seeks medical advice, Sadie gives him pills that may or may not be for menstrual cramps.
Raphel currently stars opposite her husband, Paul Scheer, on Adult Swim's "NTSF:SD:SUV."
"New Girl" has tied CBS' "2 Broke Girls" for highest-rated new comedy -- at least according to second-week DVR ratings data.
Currently benched for "X Factor" and baseball postseason coverage, "New Girl" returns Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Supporting characters get a chance to shine in an intense episode
"It's what everyone does and we pretend not to know and life goes on." – Nucky Thompson
There were a lot of people in pain during tonight's excellent "Boardwalk Empire" episode, and most of them had a hard time articulating that pain. Jimmy continues to press on with his takeover of Nucky's territory, despite the blow of the Commodore's debilitating stroke. Owen Slater proves to be a confident and practical bomb maker, and his bombs even manage to accidentally (and permanently?) silence the suspicions of one of Van Alden's men. And Nucky finds a way to force his old buddy the Attorney General's hand, by using some convenient Philadelphia prostitutes to transform the local election fraud case into a federal one involving the Mann Act. Indeed, things would seem to be looking up and proceeding nicely for most of the big players in Atlantic City.
However, the most compelling moments came courtesy of the more marginalized characters, who struggle with society's view of them as "less than" because they are black or disfigured or a rape victim. We were exposed to the inner turmoil of Chalky, Richard and Gillian in new ways – some ugly, some wistful, and some brutal. Rather than relying on a plot that hurtles forward at a breakneck pace, "Boardwalk Empire" takes the time – through long monologues and slow burn reaction shots – to delve into the inner lives of a large, sprawling cast, and the rewards are slow to come but worth it once they arrive.
Both Gretchen Mol and Jack Huston made the most of their character's scenes; oddly, it was Gillian's that cumulated in some disturbing violence on the reprehensible but momentarily helpless Commodore, while Richard Harrow's memories of his beloved sister were quietly poignant. Gillian has obviously been concealing some deep rage under all her apparent rapprochement with her son's father, and she will do everything in her power to make sure Jimmy stays on top, channeling her frustration and anger into her twisted relationship with her son. Richard, on the other hand, has become a machine, repressing all of his higher feelings and guarding himself against real connection with others. Angela did seem to break down his walls a bit, just by virtue of listening to him and observing his ruined face without judgment or horror. However, both of these people have a long way to go before rejoining the human race – if they ever get there.
Chalky White remains one of the most interesting "Boardwalk Empire" characters, and the more we learn about him, the more fascinating he gets. I wasn't sure after the scenes in the jail if Chalky really couldn't read, or if he was faking it for some reason (his own wife delivered the book to him, after all), but tonight's episode seemed to make it clear that his education is minimal, if not non-existent. Although he is a respected (and feared) leader of the local black community, his real power is essentially non-existent, as seen when the church ladies speak truth to power about what he really does (and doesn't do) for them, or the scene with Nucky and his squirm-inducing instruction to "be a good boy." Even at home, he feels isolated and inferior to his own family; they have reaped the advantages that he has proudly given them, but they have also moved beyond his control. This is the age-old story of the poor (usually immigrant) first generation feeling shunted aside by the newer generation, but add in Chalky's enforced impotence and violent line of business, and this seems like a powder keg just waiting to explode.
- I just love Eddie fussing around everyone, asking about the candles on the cake. He's so detail oriented.
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Arnold Rothstein continues to be awesome, particularly in the scene where he unknowingly maneuvers Luciano and Lansky into acting as enforcers against the men they have agreed to work with in Atlantic City.
- One person who is definitely feeling out of place is Margaret, who is continuing her games with the servants and squirreling away Nucky's money.
Sting and Coldplay perform, Marilyn Monroe makes a surprise appearance
Bing: Watch clips and episodes of 'The View'
Schedules subject to change.
Mon: John Edward, Gloria Vanderbilt
Tues: Angela and Vanessa Simmons
Wed: Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Thurs: Eden Wood from “Toddlers & Tiaras”
Fri: The Johnstons, Dugan Smith
"Live! With Regis & Kelly"
Mon: Simon Baker, Jessica Capshaw
Tues: Kevin Spacey
Wed: Ricky Gervais
Thurs: Kelsey Grammer, Kevin McKidd, Carrot Top
Fri: Orlando Bloom, Ginnifer Goodwin, guest co-host Josh Groban
Bing: Watch clips and episodes of 'Ellen Show'
"The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
Mon: Hilary Duff, R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff, Logan Lerman
Tues: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Connie Britton, Cole Armour performs
Wed: Taylor Swift, Abigail Breslin; Foster the People performs
Thurs: Steve Harvey, Rachel Maddow; Robyn performs
Fri: Marcia Cross, Lauren Alaina talks and performs
"The Rachael Ray Show"
Mon: Paula Deen; Amos Lee performs
Tues: Poppy Montgomery, Linda Evans
Wed: Jeff Probst
Thurs: Viewer inventors
Fri: Julianne Hough, Chef Ching He-Huang
Guest host this week: Camryn Manheim & Susie Essman
Mon: Gloria Estefan, Scott Porter
Tues: Idina Menzel
Wed: Cameron Mathison
Thurs: Dr. Mehmet Oz, Iman
Fri: Steve Harvey
* Kathy & Hoda hit Seattle
Mon: (7-9 a.m.): Susan Boyle, reporter shares her personal breast cancer story. Countdown Johnny English and Rowan Atkinson, (9-11 a.m.): Ellie Krieger, Stephen Lang
Tues (7-9 a.m.): Kevin Spacey, Sarah Brokaw, Mike Leonard (9-11 a.m.): Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin
Wed (7-9 a.m.): Martha Stewart; Sting performs. (9-11 a.m.): Elizabeth, Jill Martin and Louis Licari; Chris Isaak performs.
Thurs (7-9 a.m.): Len Berman (10-11 a.m.): Saving Aimee performs
Fri (7-9 a.m.): Top internet baby videos; Coldplay performs in concert (10-11 a.m.): Pat Monahan
Mon: Kevin Smith, Rowan Atkinson
Tues: Patricia Heaton, T.I.
Wed: Andy Samberg, Sarah Hyland, Matt Prokop
Thurs: Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner, Margot Robbie, Karine Vanasse, Michael Emerson, the latest "Dancing with the Stars" castoff
Fri: Erin Chase
"The Wendy Williams Show"
Mon: Jennifer Holliday, Dr. Drew Pinsky
Tues: Bill & Giuliana Rancic, Ralph Macchio, the latest "Biggest Loser" castoff
Wed: Dule Hill, Rocco Dispirito
Thurs: Tyra Banks, Sean Paul
Fri: Whoopi Goldberg, a performance by the cast of "Sister Act"
The new season forges ahead with a solid premiere
"This is a graveyard." – Lori Grimes
An ongoing television series about a zombie apocalypse has a few built in problems that a two-hour movie about the same subject can avoid. For example, there is an expectation that the main characters will necessarily have to survive every episode, which can become both boring and faintly ridiculous. Of course, if you start to introduce new disposable people ("redshirts" in the common vernacular), it kills any suspense about who is going to get it from the bad guys. It is difficult to come up with fresh and interesting ways to show the action; run away from zombie, hide from zombie, kill zombie can get repetitive, to say the least. Finally, a movie can end the story ambiguously, with either a faintly hopeful sign of the triumph of civilization, or with a sick joke of final devastation. Television…well, television has to keep going until someone – audience, show runner or network – decides to stop.
All of these issues informed the first season of "The Walking Dead" for good and for ill, and most of them were dealt with in interesting ways in the promising season two premiere "What Lies Ahead". By introducing the search for the missing Sophia, the group (or at least the next few episodes) now has a short term goal beyond just fleeing the "walkers", and one that realistically puts the new destination of Fort Benning on hold for a while. The first season did kill off a couple of people unexpectedly, and there does seem to be a willingness to play with our expectations about who is going to survive week to week (although I try not to pay too much attention to who is a regular and who is an "also starring"). The zombie killing is appropriately gory, gross and gut-churning (literally in one extended scene – kudos to the sound department for all the disgusting squishy noises just below our sight line). But it is tempered with terrifically tense and quiet sequences like the set piece of everyone hiding in various places while a herd of walkers shuffle gruntingly through the highway pile-up. Really exciting and suspenseful stuff.
Finally, the creators of "The Walking Dead" seem willing to engage with the darker emotional areas that would spring up naturally in this kind of world. After all, the first season ended with an incredibly bleak series of events at the CDC in Atlanta, and the after-effects of that are still lingering within the small group of survivors left. Survivor's guilt, depression, and paranoid fear all mingle with a basic sense of self-preservation to produce some pretty messed up people. Andrew Lincoln continues to project a complicated mixture of leadership and vulnerability and some of the others, particularly Jon Bernthal and Norman Reedus, are being allowed to break out of the redneck straitjackets they were put into last year. There is still some clunky dialogue and some uneven acting, and the dip in quality from last year's amazing pilot still lingers, but "The Walking Dead" deserves a second chance. I’m along in the RV for the duration of this season.
How long will these newlyweds last?
To the chagrin of some "The Bold and the Beautiful" fans, Liam has a new wife this week, and it's not Hope. Bad girl Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) didn't just steal her sister's guy this time: She managed to stop Hope (Kimberly Matula) in her tracks and marry Liam on an Aspen peak. While a heartbroken Hope was watching the pair say "I do," MSN TV was onset dishing about Liam's love triangle with portrayer Scott Clifton. Surprise surprise, it's not over yet!
Bing: Watch more clips and full episodes of 'The Bold and the Beautiful'
MSN TV: Not all the fans are behind Liam's new marriage, but no one can argue that was some entrance Steffy made (see video above).
Scott Clifton: I know! And then Steffy and Liam got married, with Hope stuck on the gondola, watching the entire time. Crazy.
Little fun fact: The scene where Steffy's walking up was filmed at a totally different time as me turning around and seeing her walk up. I didn't actually see her, but I look like I'm in awe because the sun was right in my eyes. It was so bright I could barely see and I was trying not to tear up. I knew it was going to play [i.e. look right], but I was doing everything to keep my eyes open. They kept cutting away from me because I could only stare for two seconds at a time.
Let's get to the controversy: A lot of fans wanted to see Liam tear up for Hope. Which sister do you think he belongs with?
Liam believes he belongs with Hope. Obviously, there are moments where he thinks, "Well, I guess not." (laughs) Steffy treats Liam really well and, you'll see this develop more, but he does love her. However, if you want to talk about his gut, he's more passionate about Hope. Whether he's passionate about hating her or loving her, she's the one who can always trigger him.
So Steffy schemed for a win, but she doesn't actually have him. Do you ever feel bad for her, in spite of her machinations?
Dude, I feel bad for her all the time. She's got some ethics issues and does some lying and manipulating. That's her thing, but it's never won her anything, so it's not like she schemed her way to the top: She schemed her way to the bottom. She's never won in a triangle. She's never had a man on the show who adored her.
What about her new father-in-law, Bill?
He was the closest she came. He was torn between her and his wife, and he chose his wife. Bill and Liam are really the only ones, so I enjoy playing moments when Liam is endeared by her. We haven't seen Steffy happy. You're not going to see her happy for very long -- how can you, on a show like this? -- but those moments are special. And nice. They also give you a little break.
Would Steffy have had a chance with Liam if he was having sex with Hope?
That was a huge thing, but the other big issue was that he was beginning to feel like an accessory to her whole virginity campaign, and that was embarrassing to him. Her campaign was coming before her relationship. It isn't the most mature decision to make, but he was feeling like second fiddle to her career. Then Steffy seized the opportunity, but I think she loves Liam and genuinely cares for him.
What would you like to see for Liam?
It can't last forever, but I would like to see Liam and Steffy happy for a minute. I would also like to see Hope with somebody else and see how that goes. Kim and I will never stop playing those looks and that attraction to one another. You've got that in the bag already, so to experiment with Hope and Liam with different people would be interesting. It would also gives fans that opportunity of, "Oh my god, did you see that look between Hope and Liam?"
Are you prepared to potentially play this triangle for decades, like Brooke, Ridge and Taylor?
That's was something Brad [Bell, executive producer] mentioned: It's a different generations and they're different people, but there are and should be some echoes and call backs to Ridge, Brooke and Taylor. Dude, those are huge shoes to walk in! Why Brad's so smart is that he never gave up on the vets. In my opinion -- which means nothing -- one of the reason we've been seeing a decline in soap viewers is because there have been a lot of studio heads who are really big on, "younger generation and only younger generation, and screw all the vets." This show didn’t make that mistake. That's a big deal. You have to be loyal to your base.
So we can safely say, this isn't the end of Hope and Liam, or the Hope/Liam/Steffy triangle?
Oh no, oh no, it ain't over. It ain't over till one or both of them is dead – and even then, one of them could come back!
"The Bold and the Beautiful" airs weekdays on CBS.
Here's what you need to know to get by at the water cooler
Can we talk reversals? That’s what this week’s “Vampire Diaries” is all about. And the stakes are super-high, with Klaus all about creating the hybrids – at any cost.
Last week, a vengeful Klaus bought Stefan back to Mystic Falls when he realized the secret Stefan had been keeping: that the doppelganger, Elena, was still alive and well – and that she was the one who had the original witch’s necklace.
This week opens with Matt working out at the school – and a sinister presence lurking about. So Matt decides to go after it, and finds his merry band of pals setting up the senior prank, a bunch of rat traps in a classroom. Because Caroline may be a vampire who’s going to live forever, but she’s all about doing senior year right.
So of course, as soon as Elena leaves the safety of the group, she runs smack into Klaus. “You are supposed to be dead.”
When Stefan comes to, Rebecca informs him that Klaus knows Elena’s alive. Then she stabs him and heads off to the school, where she finds Caroline and Tyler – the werewolf Klaus needs to complete his mission.
Meanwhile, her very vamp look-a-like, Katherine, has lured Damon out of town for a road trip – and tries to seduce him in the car. But he’s not interested. He is, though, interested in the fact that Katherine now has the original witch’s necklace – and Jeremy, out cold, in the trunk.
Matt and Bonnie are TPing the pool – apparently Mystic Falls is a very wealthy school – and Matt confesses that he hates how crazy things have gotten. Then he heads off to get more TP, and Vicki’s ghost follows him.
In the gym, Klaus proceeds to torture some of the humans who are helping out with senior prank night, just for kicks. When Bonnie and Tyler show up, Klaus attacks Tyler, forcing him to drink his blood and breaking his neck. “I need you to save my hybrids, Bonnie,” he warns. “You better hurry.”
Klaus finally has all his elements in place. Uh, except the necklace, which Katherine has. And Bonnie’s witchy book doesn’t go back 1000 years – and that’s the info they need to really put this plan into action. Everyone who knows is dead. Luckily, Jeremy can talk to the dead. Damon and Katherine force Anna to give up the info by beating up Jeremy. She tells them they need to find Michael, the vampire who hunts vampire. “But don’t wake him,” Anna says. “He’ll kill all of you.”
Stefan shows up trying to save the day, but Klaus compels him to obey, forcing him into Ripper mode. Elena watches in horror. Impatient, Klaus sets a timer – Bonnie has 20 minutes to figure this shit out, or Stefan feeds on Elena.
Back at the pool, Matt can finally sense his sister, but he can’t speak to her, so he throws himself into the pool after telling Bonnie she’ll just have to bring him back from the dead, like Jeremy. Eeeps. Bonnie manages to bring him back via CPR, and he has a message from Vicki. Elena has to die, otherwise Tyler will. Because the doppelganger has to die in order for the hybrids to be created.
Stefan’s tortured by the deadline, but Elena tells him he can control it, he owes her that much. But he says there’s no stopping a ripper once he starts. “You are dead, Elena.”
Not so dead? Tyler. He comes back to life, but he doesn’t remember what happened. And he doesn’t know that he’s about to die.
When the 20 minutes are up, Stefan tells Elena to run, then tries to stab himself wit a broom handle. But Klaus steps in and orders Stefan to turn off his humanity. Then he orders him to drink from the doppelganger’s neck.
Klaus takes a tube of Elena’s blood and feeds it to Tyler, who falls in convulsions. But that did the trick – Tyler’s now a hybrid.
Elena wakes in a hospital bed, where Klaus has ordered the nurse to take Elena’s blood via IV.
“The doppelganger isn’t the problem, her blood is the solution,” Rebecca explains. The original witch was messing with Klaus this whole time. And in the end, he figured it out.
Jeremy takes Katherine right to where Anna said they’d find Michael. And there he is, dead to the world, bound up in a coffin. Just waiting to be revived.
Damon finally shows up and Klaus is about to kill him when he mentions Michael. You know, the bane of Klaus’s existence. Like that, Klaus disappears and Damon rescues Elena.
Damon takes care of Elena back at the Salvatore pad, and Elena tells him that Stefan’s really gone – but of course, then he shows up with a wicked smirk. Klaus has ordered him to watch over Elena while he’s gone.
With that, the reversal is complete. Tyler is a hybrid. Matt can see dead people, too. Damon is the good guy and Stefan the bad.
And next week, things get even more crazy. Here's a sneak peek: