By Tony Rizzo
HOLLYWOOD — We’ve received a ton of mail about “All My Children” and Susan Lucci, and here’s what we’ve learned. First, Lucci is 99 percent set to become a regular on “Desperate Housewives” when it returns Sept. 25 for its eighth season. “All My Children” exits ABC on Friday, Sept. 23. Lucci started on “All My Children” when it premiered on Jan. 5, 1970. During the show’s 41 years, she received 19 Emmy nominations, winning once. Can “AMC” survive the move without Erica Kane?
“All My Children’s” departure leaves more questions than answers. Is ABC trying to appease the soap’s angry fan base by passing it on to the unknown, unproven Prospect Park Online starting Sept. 26 to get off the hook for canceling the show? ABC claims it cut “AMC” loose because it was too expensive to produce. Can this new online network afford the production costs, or was jettisoning Lucci and her large salary part of a plan to bring costs down?
Many longtime actors on the daytime drama have not been contacted to make the move. Is the intention to feature younger, less pricey cast members in order to save more money and appeal to a younger audience online? After all, it is called “All My CHILDREN”! In true soap fashion, we’ll just have to stay tuned!
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Jack Nicholson will go before the cameras in the film “Americana,” scheduled for a December 2012 release. Set in the Confederate south in l860, Nicholson will play a farmer and slave owner who flees to Brazil and finds a new love and a fresh start, only to be haunted by his past. Kate Winslet is said to be his leading lady.
And speaking of Kate, she has been nominated for an Emmy for her starring role in “Mildred Pierce,” the five-part mini-series reboot of the 1945 film that Joan Crawford won an Oscar for. HBO’s “Mildred Pierce” has netted a record 21 Emmy nominations, including one for Winslet as best actress in a mini-series. She has just completed the film version of the Broadway hit “God of Carnage” with Oscar winners Jodie Foster and Christoph Waltz and “Chicago” Oscar nominee John C. Reilly. The film will have its first showing at the Venice Film Festival in September. It was shot in Paris in February, with controversial award-winning director Roman Polanski at the helm.
Before Kate, who won an Oscar in ’08 for “The Reader,” shoots with Nicholson, she will film “Labor Day” in early 2012 for director Jason Reitman (“Juno”). Josh Brolin will be her leading man. James Gandolfini, Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden and Jeff Daniels of the original Broadway cast were completely shut out of the film version. All we can say is, “You’d better watch your backs.” You don’t want to incur the wrath of Tony Soprano!
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© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.