Exec Who Helped Make Hot In Cleveland a Hit For TV Land Tapped to Oversee Launch of Nick-at-Nite’s Reach For a Star

Jill Farren Phelps and Josh Griffith just got themselves a new boss! Nickelodeon has tapped former TV Land exec Sal Maniaci as the channel's new senior vice-president of event and original programming. In this new role, Maniaci, who helped make Hot in Cleveland a hit, is being charged with overseeing the upcoming launch of Nick-at-Nite's premiere primetime soap — the 80-episode, English language adaptation of popular telenovela Reach For a Star.

One Life to Live’s Brittany Underwood Lands Role in Jill Farren Phelps’ Reach For A Star!

Former One Life to Live star Brittany Underwood (ex-Langston) has signed on for Jill Farren Phelps and Josh Griffith’s upcoming, Nick-at-Night teen soap Reach For A Star! According to Soaps in Depth, Underwood is on board for the show’s entire 80-episode run, yet there's no word on who she will be playing. 

Since leaving OLTL, Underwood appeared on Showtime’s The Big C and she can next been seen in HBO’s movie Game Change on March 10 as Willow Palin

Photo credit: ABC

BREAKING NEWS: Ex-General Hospital Showrunner Jill Farren Phelps to Helm 80-Episode Telenovela For Nickelodeon; Josh Griffith to Write!


Ousted General Hospital showrunner Jill Farren Phelps didn't stay on the unemployment line long! The veteran daytime executive (Santa Barbara, Guiding Light, Another World, One Life to Live)  has been tapped to helm a groundbreaking U.S. adaptation of the telenovela Alcanzar una Estrella (Reach For a Star) for Nick-at-Night!

According to a press release, Nick is partnering with novela factory Televisa to produce 80 episodes of the drama series about a teenage girl who becomes a star and falls in love with her teen idol. Sony Pictures Television, which co-owns The Young and the Restless and Days of Our Lives, are also onboard to co-produce. Former daytime scribe Josh Griffith (As The World Turns, OLTL, SB, Sunset Beach, GH, Y&R) is serving as head writer.

Even though I am not a particular fan of Phelps' work (I still haven't forgiven her for killing my Frankie Frame on Another World!), this is incredible news for the soap opera industry. If more cablers are willing to get into bed with ex-daytimers, it only increases our chances of seeing the daily soap genre live on in the U.S. in some fashion. Check out the full press release below!