Gina Tognoni

Murders Most Foul

Hot on the heels of my admittedly scathing review of Friday's ultra-campy, Scooby Doo meets The Munsters inspired episode of All My Children which culminated in the murder of Stuart (Not Adam) Chandler, I finally had the opportunity to catch up with Guiding Light, which had its own less heralded "Who Killed Edmund Winslow?" whodunit kick off.

Since I received a little bit of blow back for my harsh (and well-deserved) criticism of AMC, I'd like to take the opportunity to explain why Springfield's simultaneous murder mystery is infinitely superior to Pine Valley's. READ MORE

Otalia: The Art of the Matter

She'd been teased and mocked for years, no more so than in her competition with other, younger and, some would say, prettier hopefuls. Her appearance had been derided as "downmarket." She obviously couldn't afford fancy stylists and didn't have the finesse of her peers, but when she revealed the depths of her talents she left viewers and critics quaking in their boots.

I'm not talking about Susan Boyle, the YouTube and Britain's Got Talent overnight sensation. I'm talking about the magnificent week of high octane, balls to the wall drama that has been Guiding Light.

I'm glad I waited before posting anything about the extraordinary week that has transpired on GL as the Olivia/Natalia love story played out before my astonished eyes. Temptation tested me in the aftermath of Olivia's shattering graveyard soliloqy to her heart donor Gus and, later, her heartstopping confession of love to Natalia, in what is quite possibly destined to become remembered as one of the greatest performances in daytime of the last decade. My fingers fidgeted over my keyboard during one of the most gloriously tortured daytime weddings in recent memory. My mind raced with superlatives about Natalia's struggle at the altar and her tearful confession of love for Olivia mixed with guilt about Frank. While the week belonged to Otalia (which I will get to in a moment), the entire show was, to borrow a phrase, a towering inferno of greatness. Let us count the ways: READ MORE

Did Gina Tognoni Just Become The Most Sought After Woman in Soaps?



We're hearing from several sources that CBS Daytime Chief Barbara Bloom is gearing up to "fight like hell" to keep Guiding Light's biggest stars from ending up ABC, specifically Gina Tognoni.

"Barbara is already doing whatever she can to pre-empt Guiding Light's more popular stars from leaving," says a source. "She's already talking to producers at the Bell soaps to see where she can fit in."

Word is Bloom is also desperate to keep recent ABC transplant Jeff Branson, as well as Daniel Cosgrove on her network.

Developing...

Jerry Ver Dorn Bumped to Recurring at OLTL?; Should Ross Return for Blake on GL?



We're hearing rumblings that Jerry Ver Dorn has been taken off contract at One Life to Live.  We can't say this surprises us. We've been hearing for months that a Bo and Nora redux is a "done deal"—thank you Soap Gods— and Viki already has Charlie. It's too bad OLTL decided to bust up Clint and Dorian, since Robin Strasser and Ver Dorn had amazing chemistry. I would much rather watch a full-on Clint/Dorian/Cruz Castillo, er Ray Montez love triangle than see Ver Dorn and Hillary B. Smith put me to sleep in their scenes. But to be completely honest, what I really want to see is Ver Dorn reprise his role as Ross Marler on Guiding Light. Now I don't know how smart it would actually be to give up a recurring gig at a soap that is on steadier footing to return to the role you made famous, but a boy can Wishfully Cast, can't he?

If, and I say if, what TV Week is reporting is true, and GL's writers may soon be needing to wrap up storylines, I would like nothing better than for it to be revealed that Edmund or Alan was holding Ross hostage in some foreign prison. Dinah (Gina Tognoni) and Phillip (Grant Aleksander) team up to rescue him, with Beth (Beth Chamberlin) and Shayne (Jeff Branson) along for the ride, with tons of romance and adventure along the way. They don't tell Blake (Liz Kiefer) what they're doing, because they don't want to get her hopes up.

Imagine, the ferocity of emotion the brazilliant Tognoni would display as Dinah discovers a beaten and broken Ross is indeed still alive. Just think of the scenes where they spirit him back to Springfield on the Spaulding Jet, where he then reunites with his beloved Blake and their kids.

GL could then bring back Fletcher (Jay Hammer), Ed (Peter Simon) and Holly (Maureen Garrett) to celebrate in Ross's return and a double wedding for Bill and Lizzie and Phillip and Beth. Okay, enough fan fic. What do you think, should Ver Dorn be happy to stick it out on recurring on a surer bet like OLTL, or return to help salvage and/or wrap up Guiding Light?

Dinah and Mallet Still Have "It"



Yesterday's Guiding Light was bittersweet for me because it reminded me of what once was. There are two primary reasons I got hooked on Guiding Light, Lizzie and the chemistry of Dinah and Mallet. Unfortunately, Dinah and Mallet imploded. Since Jeff Branson's arrival as Shayne Lewis, and his amazing chemistry with Dinah, I had all but forgotten about the one-time connection between Dinah and Mallet, until yesterday. Seeing them bond over the baby I couldn't help but think that Gina Tognoni and Robert Bogue still have it.

Guiding Light has made drastic improvements since February and I sincerely hope that the show decides to amp up the Dinah/Mallet/Marina/Shayne quad. There is oh so much potential there. More pictures after the jump. READ MORE

Top 10 Reasons To Watch Guiding Light Right Now

Funny how the universe sometimes lines up and minds think alike, isn't it? Guiding Light is in the thoughts of a lot of people these days. Bloggers, soap journalists and industry watchers — not to mention the writers, cast and crew of GL — are all on pins and needles about this 72 year old institution. The writing has been on the wall among commentators on the Internet and in the soap press for some time regarding GL's maybe/probably/likely cancellation, which would essentially signal the final march along daytime's trail of tears as the end of the genre.

The signs are obvious and ominous: GL has been hovering at a 1.5 rating for the last few months, a situation exacerbated by a genre-crushing free fall in advertising revenues, which have in turn led to massive budget cuts by the networks for all the shows. If GL doesn't get its act together by the Ides of April, as our own Jamey Giddens so aptly put it, the oldest series on broadcast television will bite the dust. However, there is hope. As has been reported here, Guiding Light needs the minimum of a steady 1.8 rating to avoid getting the ax.

Back to minds thinking alike: Just as I was finalizing this list, Mr. Giddens posted his "Top 10 Last Ditch Stunts To Save Guiding Light," followed by Spauldingfield's awesome GL promo posted by Luke Kerr. Because of their excellent efforts I almost decided to not post these recommendations, but the situtation at Guiding Light is so important to those of us who love the show that I felt it was more important to contribute to the call to keep GL on the air and risk repetition than not do so. Therefore, consider these considerations an addition to their efforts. GL needs viewers not tomorrow, but today and here are ten reasons to tune in right now! READ MORE