US Townhall RealStories presents: Thore Schölermann and Jo Weil of VERBOTENE LIEBE
Written by Scott Katz   
Monday, 13 September 2010 01:59

As same-sex marriage continues to fuel debate in the United States, over in Germany one of their more popular soap operas has tackled the subject head on with a highly-publicized wedding between two of its major characters.  Same-sex weddings are not exactly a novel concept even in American television, but what made this one more notable is that it took place in a church, and was performed by what seemed to be a member of the clergy.

While same-sex marriage is legal in ten countries around the world and in five states and the District of Columbia within the United States, it is actually not currently allowed in Germany.  However, Germany does recognize Registered Partnerships for same-sex couples.

Earlier this month, on Friday, September 3, two popular male characters from the long-running German soap, Verbotene Liebe (Forbidden Love), were married in a church wedding.  Christian Mann (played by Thore Schölermann) was wed to Oliver "Olli" Sabel (played by Jo Weil) in the culmination of a long storyline that traced their relationship from acquaintances to friends to lovers.


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In a time where American soap operas such as One Life to Live dropped its gay characters, attributing them to the decline in the show's ratings, it's interesting to see what's happening across the ocean.  We spoke to the actors about their characters and storyline in late August in an audio interview translated and transcribed below.  The actors recorded their answers in their native German so if you want to listen to what they sound like, even if you don't speak German, the audio clips are posted at the end of this article.  Enjoy!

Click here to read the interview with Thore Schölermann & Jo Weil of VERBOTENE LIEBE
Written by Scott Katz   
Thursday, 19 August 2010 00:35

As the World Turns logo (Image © 2010 Procter & Gamble)On Wednesday, August 18 at the Paley Center for Media in midtown Manhattan, cast members and fans of the long-running serial drama, As the World Turns, gathered to say goodbye to this venerable television institution.  Created by legendary television pioneer, Irna Phillips, and debuting on CBS-TV on Monday, April 2, 1956, As the World Turns will have aired a staggering 13,858 episodes when it goes off the air for good on Friday, September 17, 2010.

Just as with the Guiding Light farewell event hosted by the Paley Center in 2009 (which was also covered by, the evening began with a red carpet photo op at approximately 6:00pm.  By 6:30, the cast of As the World Turns and their fans had made their way to the downstairs theater at the Paley Center in order to participate in a Q&A session hosted by Paley Center Curator, Ron Simon.

This was not the first As the World Turns event to be held at Paley.  In 1996, ATWT's 40th anniversary was celebrated there, and in 2006, Paley commemorated the soap's 50th by staging a recreation of the first script from April 2, 1956.  It was performed by Helen Wagner (Nancy Hughes) and Don Hastings (Dr. Bob Hughes), who played mother and son since Hastings took over the role in 1960.  Sadly, Ms. Wagner, an original cast member who spoke the very first line of dialogue on the series premiere in 1956, died from cancer at the age of 91 on May 1, 2010, missing the series' final episode taping which took place about 7 weeks later on June 23, 2010.

What follows are our exclusive photos from the night as well as a summary of the Q&A panel.

Click here to see our EXCLUSIVE photos of the gala once-in-a-lifetime event!
Written by Scott Katz   
Wednesday, 19 August 2009 22:52

Kim ZimmerAnd so, the ending begins.  Tonight in New York City, at the Paley Center for Media in midtown Manhattan, was one of the first big "goodbye" events that the Guiding Light cast will be hosting for its fans.  Coming up next, the cast will appear at the Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony on Sunday August 30, at which there is said to be a special tribute to the show.


The Paley Center's three-plus hour event entitled Good-bye to Guiding Light, 72 Years Young, was moderated by Paley's Curator, Ron Simon.  In attendance from GL tonight were: Ellen Wheeler (Executive Producer), Jill Lorie Hurst (Head Writer), and actors Grant Aleksander, Bradley Cole, Elizabeth Keifer, Michael O'Leary, and Kim Zimmer.

However, sitting in the audience were several other Guiding Light actors including: Kurt McKinney, Maeve Kinkead, Tina Sloan, Gina Tognoni, Orlagh Cassidy, Frank Dicopoulos, and Ellen Dolan who is now Margo on As the World Turns, but was the original Maureen on GL.


Crystal Chappell part 2: Returning to DAYS OF OUR LIVES
Written by Scott Katz   
Wednesday, 30 September 2009 23:30

Some weeks ago, we published the first part of our exclusive three-part interview with Crystal Chappell, the Emmy award winning actress noted for her popular stints as Carly Manning/Katerina von Leuschner on Days of Our Lives (1990-1993), Maggie Carpenter on One Life to Live (1995-1997), and of course, Olivia Spencer on Guiding Light (1999-2009) where she won that Emmy.  In between soap roles, Crystal had numerous guest spots in primetime and syndicated television series.

October 2009 brings Ms. Chappell back full circle to her first front burner role as Carly on Days of Our Lives.  In this second part of our interview with Crystal, she talks about going back to where it all began and working once again with her husband, Michael Sabatino, and Louise Sorel, who tormented Carly as the evil Vivian Alamain.

Days of Our Lives is obviously banking on a nice ratings boost from the near-simultaneous arrival of these three longtime favorites.  Based on what we've seen and heard from the fans who have responded to the first part of our interview, the level of excitement for Crystal's return has reached fever pitch so this was pretty much a safe bet on DAYS' part.  See for yourself on Friday, October 2 as Crystal Chappell makes her grand reappearance on the Salem canvas.

Our thanks once again to Crystal Chappell for speaking with us and to Cathie and the gang over at, and Crystal's publicist, Leslie Penny, for making this all happen.


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cast of The Apprentice 10


Sherri Shepherd

Vanessa Minnillo

All My Children creator AGNES NIXON

Bronx Opera's BEN SPIERMAN

cast of Big Brother 12 BOBBY FLAY & STEVE ELLS of America's Next Great Restaurant Cast of the play Bridgeboy
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part 1: Guiding Light

part 2: Days of Our Lives founder DAN KROLL DAN PARENT of Archie Comics DAVID LYONS of The Cape DEBBIE GIBSON & TIFFANY Author DEDE EMERSON of A Different Kind of Streetwalker
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BOB DOWLING of the 3D Entertainment Summit Indie filmmaker ELIANA UJUETA of Beneath the Rock comic book artist JAMAL IGLE Genesis Repertory's JAY MICHAELS, MARY MiCARI, & actors Oscar-winning actor JEREMY IRONS

Animation historian JERRY BECK

1st interview

2nd interview

singer-songwriter JOSH GROBAN

web series producer KAI SOREMEKUN of Chick

1st interview

2nd interview

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Oscar-winning actress KATHY BATES of Harry's Law Television producer KENNETH JOHNSON of V, Bionic Woman, Incredible Hulk KYLE BORNHEIMER & HAYES MacARTHUR of Perfect Couples

Terrence Howard, René Balcer

Dick Wolf, Alfred Molina, Alana de la Garza

publisher DAN HERMAN of Hermes Press COUNTESS LuANN de LESSEPS of The Real Housewives of New York City author MAX ALLAN COLLINS of Road to Perdition WWE Champion Mike "The MIz" Mizanin
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JEFF HAYNE of Mill Creek Entertainment

1st interview

2nd interview

singer-actor NICK LACHEY supermodel NIKI TAYLOR talks The Celebrity Apprentice actor PAUL REISER of The Paul Reiser Show actor-producer RICKY GERVAIS of The Office actress-television host ROSIE O'DONNELL comic book writer STEVE NILES

Ian Anthony Dale, Nick Wauters

Jason Ritter, Sarah Roemer, Blair Underwood, Željko Ivanek

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THORE SCHÖLERMANN & JO WEIL of Verbotene Liebe Peabody & Emmy award winning journalist TOM BROKAW Emmy award winning actor TOM PELPHREY of Guiding Light actors from The Apothecary Theatre Company TORI SPELLING & DEAN McDERMOTT of sTORIbook Weddings





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