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Guiding Light
Don't get mad, get MADD!
For the Week of September 6, 2004
Last week, the shocking news broke that Grant Aleksander had been fired, after nearly twenty years of periodic service on the show.
For those who don't know, GL fired Grant Aleksander (Phillip) on August 27th after nearly 20 years (off and on) on GL. To say this is a major shock to me, as a long time fan, is a complete understatement.

Longtime readers of this column know that I am a huge fan of Grant's. He is the very first GL'er I met, at an appearance in 1987 when we were both a lot younger! I often tell the story of meeting Grant's parents, who are both now gone and how proud they were of their son. The appearance was in our hometown of Baltimore, MD and the crowd was really supporting their hometown guy. He was always gracious and giving to his fans.

Over the years I've seen Grant more times than I can count. He's always willing to give of his time and his talent and is an asset to the show. When GL veteran Michael Zaslow (Roger) became ill, Grant, Ron Raines (Alan) and Michael O'Leary (Rick) would regularly meet the ailing actor to boost his spirits - even after GL foolishly fired him, too.

But let's forget the sentimental stuff for a moment. Let's even put aside how talented of an actor he is - I mean that Emmy nomination last year was a fluke - right? Surely you have to get rid of him. Only if you are OUT OF YOUR MIND!!

Here are some good, solid reasons why GL should take a look at it's own rich history and not get rid of such a talented actor:

1. Maureen Bauer (played by Ellen Parker) - Who can forget the GL Fan Forum (probably made up of GH fans) who said that the show could do without the Bauer Matriarch. So - poof - they killed off eventual Emmy winner Ellen Parker. Once the deed was done, GL fans revolted in droves, telling the show how they had made a major mistake. But since you can't bring back characters from the dead (well, you shouldn't bring them back from the dead) the show has had to have ghostly visits from Maureen off and on for years.

2. Michael Zaslow (Roger Thorpe) - Definitely a defining moment on how long- time GL fans felt about the show was when the show fired ailing actor Michael Zaslow who was having trouble with his lines. Even after 20+ years in daytime as the notorious villain Roger Thorpe, Zaslow was given the boot and recast with Dennis Parlato. It was later learned that Zaslow suffered from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease). Zaslow died on December 6, 1998.

3. Fiona Hutchison (Jenna Bradshaw Cooper) - Hutchison played the wife of Roger Thorpe on GL and became fast friends with Zaslow. When GL fired him, Fiona spoke out, and lost her job because of it. Jenna was killed off in a car crash, much like Maureen Reardon Bauer.

4. Ben Reade (Matthew Bomer) - GL fans have watched this character grow up before our very eyes. When the show brought him back several years ago, it was a nice bit of history, seeing Ben and Bill and Michelle all together again. But when Bomer was looking at movie and other tv offers, GL panicked and killed off the character - making him a serial killer in the body of the little boy we had all known and loved. The character assassination of this beloved character was too much for many GL fans, and they let TPTB know that they again had crossed the line.

Now GL has done it again, made a character we grew up with a total stranger. A character so despicable, so hateful that we will gladly let them kill him off? I don't think so, GL. Grant has given nearly 20 years of his time and talent to GL and their fans. And what do those 20 years mean to them now? Not a darn thing. "Thanks so much for your time and talent, now get out" is pretty much what they are saying.

GL's Executive in Charge of Production, Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin tells TVGuide.com "For the next few months, Grant will be featured in a riveting storyline that will keep the Cooper and Spaulding families in the forefront well into the new year. Grant's gifted portrayal of this complex character is guaranteed to entertain our audience, as Grant has done for many years on Guiding Light."

Can anyone smell a rat? Is anyone else out there as SICK AND TIRED as I am of this woman killing off our show little by little? While there have been some glimmers of GL's rich past in the show, by and large, under MADD's reign, this show has tanked in the ratings. CBS and Viacom have sat by and done NOTHING about it.

I say it's not time to get even, it's time to get MADD!!! We need to let our collective voices be heard. Let them know that we aren't going to stand for this one woman wrecking crew to ride our show right into cancellation. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done NOW!!!

To start with, I have begun a petition to hopefully reverse this terrible "storyline decision" and instead get rid of MADD. Here is the link (please share with your GL friends and family): http://www.PetitionOnline.com/MADDness/petition.html Please note that your email address will remain confidential.

And please share your thoughts and comments with GL. Here is their contact info: Phone Numbers:
MADD - (212) 474-5811
GL (212) 986-5330

CBS/GL
51 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019
GL@cbs.com

Ellen Wheeler
GL
222 E 44th St
New York, NY 10019
Fax: (212) 697-7143

Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin (MADD)
C/o Televest
79 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016

Barbara Bloom
SVP Daytime Programming
CBS Television City
7800 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

David Kreitzman
GL Head Writer
222 E 44th St
New York, NY 10019

Richard Mensing
VP of CBS Daytime
51 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019

We need to get busy letting GL know how we feel. I know many of you are just back from summer vacations and such, so now is the time we need to get started letting GL know that we have a vested interest in our show. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me, too. Together we can let TPTB know that we care about the show and are ready to show that we will not be ignored!

Together we can work together to make GL the show that we all remember.

Keep the Light Shining!
Kimberly


Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.



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