All My Children’s Over-hyped Return of Rebecca Budig

By Marlena De LacroixRebecca Budig

A member of our family has been ill, so it’s been hard enough to post.  And so at the end of  tough days,  I turn to where I have always turned since I was a teen for a bit of relief, comfort and a sense of belonging:  to daytime soaps.  Right now — late Saturday afternoon – what’s going on is SoapNet’s  ”Welcome Back Weekend,”  a festival of old episodes of All My Children and a repeating promo special welcoming back the characters of Jesse, Angie and Greenlee, as played again by veterans Darnell Williams, Debbi Morgan and Rebecca Budig.

But as I watched the promo special, Greenlee, Jesse and Angie, Back in Pine Valley, I sensed I’m not the only one having problems with an illness in the family.

First let me assure you that the ABC family problem of which I speak has nothing to do with the very welcome return of Angie and Jesse.  As I watched the wonderful clips of Morgan and Williams culled from AMC vintage early 80s — even without sound — teens Jesse and Angie immediately sprang to life as multi-dimensional human beings.  And of course they had come straight from the head and heart of AMC creator and headwriter Agnes Nixon, mother of us all, creator of Marlena’s favorite soap in that era which offered the best soap writing ever!  Two devastatingly real characters fully realized in all their emotions by two great artists!

But then I saw in the same network special AMC clips from a totally different, later era — clips of Rebecca Budig’s Greenlee.  A rich girl opening her mink to reveal her pert self in a bra, panties and high heels! A character with average range!   An actress with the subtlety of a high school cheerleader!

Was the special really equating Budig’s work on AMC with that of Morgan and Williams?  And, as you know, that’s not the only gross inequity.  Over the past few weeks and this weekend, Budig’s return to All My Children has been bally-hooed in a bizarre over the top promotion campaign.  Budig has been touted as if she had had the daytime wattage of Susan Lucci, Deidre Hall, Susan Flannery, Genie Francis and Tony Geary all rolled into one!

Budig?  A peppy performer and I’m sure a nice girl, too, but hey folks, far from the top tier of all-time soap opera performers.  In all my decades of watching soaps, I’d rank her somewhere around 235 out of about 4,000 actors and actresses I’ve seen.

But what prompted the over-hype that has accompanied Budig’s return?  We all know that All My Children is now shockingly facing ratings oblivion.  Over the last twelve years ABC Daytime has mismanaged the once sparkling show via bad headwriters and stupid gimmicky stories like those starring the ever-shallow Sex in the City-esque Megan McTavish-written Fusion girls, prominent among them Budig’s Greenlee.  ABC doesn’t want AMC to be cancelled.  So bringing back three big names from its past isn’t a bad idea.  Every soap’s doin’ it!

But the campaign for the “Real Greenlee’s Return” (including a website countdown and daily insulting “bugs” on the screen (some over Sabine Singh’s face!) has a suspiciously personal flavor.  The magnitude of how overdone it is feels icky to me, and makes me suspect an ulterior motive.  It is as if Greenlee were Eqyptian Queen Cleopatra being paraded through the streets of Rome and presented to future lover Julius Caesar on a platter (it happened that way in history as well as in  Rome, the recent HBO mini-series.)

Even my husband Moose, who only watches soaps occasionally, sensed something sexual  going on here in the over-adoration of Budig.  “Marlena,” he observed with a kindly shake of his head, “She’s cute, but she’s no Kelly Monaco.”

So, who at the network authorized such a monstrously overdone and inappropriate return campaign?  Can this be more than a simple case of corporate mismanagement?  Obviously, there’s some kind of illness, a corporate pathology going on over at ABC Daytime.  As a journalist I worked with and knew the whole top executive team at ABC Daytime throughout the 80s and 90s, and the classy ultra-professional women who ran the joint (pre-Disney) would have never authorized anything as inappropriate as this.  Even Richard Nixon couldn’t have authorized an operation so corrupt!

I leave the inevitable investigation of this soap Watergate to the people at Disney.  It’s an illness in their own  family — and their disease to cure. 

Comments

  1. horselover says:

    Frons is an idiot. This overhyped return of the “real” Greenlee is just one more reason why Brian Frons has got to go. He doesn’t “get” daytime. He never has. He once said he needed to “train” the viewers on who and what to like. Is that arrogant or what? Brian Frons will be the downfall of ABC Daytime unless SOMEONE at ABC wakes the hel# up!

  2. Fabobug says:

    Yes Marlena, again you hit the nail on the head! What kind of internal political family dysfunctions at ABC led to such cruel actions?

    As we know, the soap highway is littered with recasting roadkill. Just ask Philice Sampler, Robert Kelker-Kelly, Elaine Princi, Anne Howard, Coltin Scott, Heather Rattray…all can tell stories of being replaced by vets despite giving it that ol’ college try. But to replace, then insult and humiliate the young woman who showed up and did her best the past year? It seems out of bounds not only for soaps but for the whole entertainment genre. I think it’s a rotten way to treat Singh, and a cruel way to welcome back Budig. It’s pretty much setting the “real” Greenlee up for failure, now that she and this campaign is the target of disgust for so many fans.

    I wish the best for your family member!

  3. Mike says:

    Thank God for you, Marlena! I was beginning to think I’m just an angry old soap viewer for sharing many of the same opinions you shared. Without naming names, you made it clear that Brian Frons is the one behind this mess. My question though is, why hasn’t the mainstream soap press caught on to this and why aren’t they writing about this or asking the tough questions? I’ve never seen something so overdone in my life. I mean, geesh, even Genie Francis and Tony Geary didn’t get this kind of send up a year ago when they remarried. I mean, it’s Rebecca Budig, folks. What makes me angrier, however, is that I don’t see any evidence that the mainstream soap press is questioning any of this.

  4. MsT says:

    Does anyone have ANY idea why this man (Brian Frons) has been put in charge of ABC Daytime and the Soapnet? He is clearly not a soap fan nor does he have any respect for the genre or its fans.

  5. Jenn says:

    As someone who does not watch AMC, even I have been incredibly apalled by the current “REAL Greenlee” ad campaign I am constantly subjected to during GH, and on SoapNet. What an insult to the woman who has recently been playing her! The real problem here, as everyone seems to already know, is Brian Frons. He is running a (virtually) woman’s medium, with no idea what women want or like. He is running ABC Daytime for the Maxim magazine crowd, who’ve probably never watched a soap a day in their lives… Not to generalize or anything. But ABC needs to fire Frons. This man has way too much control over the soaps, and most of his ideas are horrible. ABC Daytime needs someone in charge who at least is a fan of daytime soaps, someone who knows what the fans want and crave and who also knows that they have to step back and let the producers and headwriters of the soaps take charge of their own shows.

    And as someone else said, I too am alarmed that the soap magazines aren’t shaming ABC Daytime for this awful and meanspirited ad campaign. But I have noticed for years that the soap mags don’t really spend a lot of time focusing on the negative. I guess I understand that, they want soaps to thrive, but ignoring the bad writing and awful plots isn’t going to solve the problem at all… And something this cruel needs to be called out for what it is.

  6. Mirabella says:

    I know that this was a tacky business, but I’m still thinking it’s blown so far out of proportion. Sabine Singh might be a nice girl, but she wasn’t compelling enough IMHO to be the Greenlee character, and so there’s a need for a recast. As for humiliation, I think she’s probably looking at the AMC show as misery, and that’s true, but the humiliation I feel she’s going to deal with is that she’s constantly going to be reminded of this by fans, when probably all she wants to do is forget it…and move on.

    And this is not IMHO, the most humiliating situation for an actress. I’d say that belongs to Julia Barr, who had been on the show for DECADES and wasn’t even given a proper farewell, not to a recast who was around for six months. “Real” Greenlee campaign or not, I’d say that the Brooke character had it MUCH worse.

  7. Elle says:

    Bravo. I wish I could say it as succinctly.

  8. LaShond says:

    I also think that the “Real Greenlee” campaign is disrespectful and distasteful to Sabine Singh, who I think did a good job of bringing another side to the Greenlee character. Also iinsulting is that it overshadows the return of daytime’s first black supercouple. I’m 25 years old and I want to know more about that than the return of the “Real Greenlee.”

  9. Katie says:

    Dear Marlena,

    Thank you for such a wonderful column on the overkill of Rebecca Budig/Greenlee. I am truly disgusted with ABC Daytime management in the way they have handled my beloved AMC. It’s been a long while since I watched and the pimping of Rebecca Budig/Greenlee will not make me tune in. I am very much interested in Morgan/Williams return. The caliber of their acting is worth watching, but the writing for AMC these days have been a true bore and tragedy to even tune in.

    I was truly baffled at Morgan/Williams being used as background material like a potted plant, while they promote the most hated character IMO Greenlee after all the horrid things she’s done over the last 8 months. AMC should be ashamed of themselves.

  10. Linda says:

    I always thought that Budig was an overrated actress playing an overrated character. Thank you for explaining so fully the disgust many viewers feel over the return of a mediocre actress for only a year. This only turns me off All My Children even more. I have no deseire to see Budig’s smug face all over Pine Valley for the next year or so.

  11. Barb Blake says:

    Marlena: You have said just everything I have been already writing to the ABC management/executives, soap magazines and soap shows. It is appalling how ABC/AMC handled this situation with SS and RB. You know, I don’t think RB is talented or well known enough to warrant this type of campaign — especially when the same wasn’t done for Angie/Jessie, who are in my opinion a bigger draw and talented actors. IMO opinion the Greenlee character is not well liked, including by me, so I want be tuning in when RB is scheduled to appear (and reading the comments on the internet about this whole situation, it seems I’m not the only one with this opinion). If ABC executives were planning on a ratings boost, then I think they may be disappointed.

    Brian Frons (the writers and executive producer of AMC) need to go. ABC needs to clean house and bring in new blood with TALENT (which is sadly lacking these days at AMC).

    Thanks for echoing the comments of so many, Marlena.

  12. Talia says:

    This is the stupidest thing I have ever seen in my life! Bringing Rebecca back is not going to fix what is wrong with AMC! They definitely need new writers! Where is the Love in the afternoon?

  13. DS0816 says:

    I’m glad you wrote about this, Marlena!

    It’s a repulsive situation that is shocking in its unprofessionalism. I’d like to see a whole lotta people on daytime be fired and never seen again — but those are predominantly behind-the-scenes individuals. And whomever is responsible for “The Real Greenlee” is incompetent, dangerous, and unworthy of his/her position.

    We’re not even through the first month of the new year, and already we have one for “The Worst of Soaps 2008″!

  14. TJ says:

    You said it Marlena and thank you FOR saying it since I guess ABC/AMC doesn’t hear or doesn’t care what the fans think. We have been begging for better writing since …..I forget how long. Instead we get more meaningless hype over someone who is IMHO a lower caliber actress at best. Now the Debbie and Darnell story from what I hear is different. I’ve never seen their characters but I understand they are held in high esteem. I honestly think ABC couldn’t figure out who to insult and just decided to insult us all, first by writing all the characters out of character to facilitate the REAL return and telling the fans they didn’t see what they saw but also to inundate us all with how special the REAL was and that we ALL were screaming for her back…..I don’t remember reading that ANYWHERE! I haven’t watched in a month and only plan on seeing clips from now on this circus isn’t worth my time……thank you again for putting a very true and clear statement of facts out there!

  15. stargazer says:

    I don’t know who you are that wrote this, but I LOVE YOU…

  16. Esther says:

    As Fabobug said, I wish the best for your family member.

    This campaign is SUCH an insult. Bravo, Marlena, for calling them on it! And all of this for that nitwit Budig who came back cause the only way she could get on TV (other than AMC) was to be in the audience cheering on Cameron Mathison at Dancing with the Stars! Puleeeez.

  17. Cherry Ames says:

    Marlena, bless your heart! I have been thinking that either I’m paranoid or there is something very dysfunctional (and not a “fun” sort of dysfunction, either) going on at ABC Daytime. While I may still be paranoid (or not) I am now convinced that ABC daytime is a very sick and sad place and that one Mr. Frons is a diseased little puppy. It certainly has been translating into what what we see onscreen and nothing has been more tastless, tacky and just disgusting than the OTT, over-hyped return of Mrs. Bachelor Bob aka Rebecca Budig. It’s shameful and i want no part of such nonsense. No longer a fan of AMC.

  18. Gianni says:

    I don’t know, Marlena. While I agree that the whole SabineleeGate scandal is tacky and wrong I woudn’t say that Rebecca Budig has the range of a cheerleader. Her pairing with Josh Duhamel was magical and the scenes after he died really really sad. If she became cheerleaderesque during the last few years on the show I think it has more to do with the what seems like brigade of vapid teenage girls that are apparently writing AMC ( paging Amanda Bealle). Either way, I love Budig but the way Sabine has been treated has really ruined the homecoming.

  19. Oakdalian says:

    As publicity campaigns go, this was probably the worst I’ve ever seen. ABC could have covered their tracks once the initial backlash was so strong, but they just kept making the offensive promos. The footage only served to show Greenlee as a screeching, overbearing mess. Her best relationship was with Leo, and returning to even a hint of it for this stint is highly unlikely. Treating Budig like she’s Beverlee McKinsey is hilarious, and yet I can’t seem to laugh. Even with the bad reputation soaps get, tons of actors would love to work on one. After Sabine Singh’s treatment, why should they want to now?

  20. James says:

    As bad as this real Greenlee campaign is, it could be a lot worse.

    Imagine if ads had back in November announcing:

    “The fake Marty Saybrook is killed off on Dec. 4.”

    or

    “The lackluster replacement Emily Quatermain is killed off on Nov. 16.”

  21. Georgie says:

    I don’t even watch ABC Soaps — though I used to — and everywhere I turn I see this “REAL” Greenlee business. I think this shameful campaign has become bigger than the actress that was replaced, bigger than the actress returning to the role. The campaign is tacky, shallow and in bad taste. It makes you wonder if this Brian Frons guy has any respect for fans of Daytime TV if he thinks this campaign would appeal to anyone. And I simply do not get the over-hyping of Budig. She was great but I can’t but keep thinking, “Out of all the returning soap vets over the past few years, why is she getting the biggest welcome back I’ve ever seen?”

  22. Liligal says:

    I’m so sick and tired of all the whining and complaining about the return of the “real” Greenlee. Are they over-doing the promos? Maybe a bit, but so what? As far as I’m concerned Rebecca Budig is the ONLY Greenlee. The part should have never been recast in the first place. And yes, Rebecca Budig IS worthy of all the hype. She has been in soaps for at least 9 years. She was also one half of one of AMC’s most successful, if not most popular super-couples in her pairing with former AMCer Josh Duhamel (ex-Leo). And before you even say it, no, it was not all Josh. Rebecca held her own in every scene she did with him and then some. He’s a natural, but she is too. That’s why they were so phenominal together. Let’s also not forget that Rebecca was cast in the female leads of 2 pilots last year. To me, that means someone in Hollywood must think she’s worth something, even if the pilots didn’t get chosen. Many actors NEVER get cast in ANY pilots. I have no doubt that had there been an actual pilot season this year, she would have once again been cast in at least 1 or 2. So yes, I do believe Rebecca Budig is worth all this hype. With that said, I do feel bad that Sabine was fired so abruptly, but that in no way should be blamed on Rebecca. She only took a great deal that was offered her during a time when most actors aren’t working and might not be for some time to come. I would have done the same in her shoes. Sabine is a big girl who knew going in what might happen. This is show biz after all. People get screwed over all the time. That’s just the way it is and she knows that. It’s high time that everyone else did too and get over it. It’s time to move on and stop beating this dead horse. It’s a done deal.

  23. Haley says:

    I’d have to disagree. I have watched Rebecca throughout the entirety of her performances on All My Children and I think she is a superb actress. She can go through a range of different emotions all within seconds of one another and has the ability to keep fans watching. She is obviously a fan favorite as people have been waiting for this day since she left. The people at AMC feel the same way as they finally put forth a good enough offer for Rebecca to take. I myself, am ecstatic by her retun and cannot wait for her first scenes to air. I wish Sabine Singh the best of luck in whatever she chooses to do. She did an awesome job with the writing that she was given and I truly appreciate her time on the show.

  24. RebeccaFan4Lyfe says:

    You call a website journalism? Oh, it must be nice to be autonomous huh? It must feel great to attack an ABOVE average, no let’s say an AMAZING daytime actress with no recourse? Maybe Moose needs glasses. Afterall, he’s been with you and from your words, you sound insecure dear. Yes, I said you are insecure. I challenge you to turn on a daytime show nowadays and NOT see sexuality play a big role, and FYI, that was ONE clip in all of the clips. I’m so glad you took time out of your busy internet column day to bash someone enough and NOT get the full picture. It must feel so gratifying to be jealous of someone that is half your age which I assume from your close to the grave comments. Maybe you should talk to the creator of the show. After all, this is the woman that begged RB to come on for a short stint, when she left GL playing the prominent role of Michelle Bauer — yea a core family. Yes, she was up for the role of Kelsey and when she left GL, Agnes specifically created another role just for her. Ms. Nixon is the creator of how many soaps again? While you’re playing around on your internet column, she was busy recruiting an amazing actress. Rebecca made her role into SIX years that was ONLY supposed to be six weeks. No, Rebecca deserves MANY accolades, and yes, this campaign is tacky but to NOT give her the credit she deserves as an actress is just as tacky if not more so. Maybe you need to get a grip and stop comparing Rebecca to some overused character in history. Rebecca and the role she originated are unique and wonderful, and her fans appreciated her before she left and will continue to APPRECIATE her when she returns. For someone so old, you truly lack ettiquette. Maybe Moose and you should look into a class about that and stop spending all of your precious time hacking away at other people.

  25. barbara says:

    Marlena,
    Very much enjoyed your view on the over-hype. Can you imagine the feedback if ABC would have put as much effort into Debbie Morgan’s return as well as Darnell’s? Debbie is a fabulous actress–she has shared big screen (as well as small screen) with big time actors; her vita is impressive to say the least. And she is even more amazingly beautiful than she was when she first began on AMC!! People across America know who she is and would tune in just to see her. Don’t get me wrong, I also like RB and believe she’s very talented but I grew to really like Sabine Singh this past year and hate to see her go; it was such a shame that her storylines were as bad as they were but she did a great job with them so much so that I was pulling for her. What has ensued with the ad campaign for RB’s return is something else, to say the least. Very tasteless! I just cannot believe someone at ABC approved this campaign.

    I agree with your comments about the mismanagement of AMC…the problem for several years has been poor writing and bad storylines. What is most horrendous to me is how the show even keeps subjugating women into weak, mentally unstable, pityful creatures with no morals – these are not REAL role models for future generations! Women that I know are strong, beautiful, giving, tough, intelligent, funny, thoughtful, respectful, passionate, tender, loving, and sometimes vulnerable–they are the people that take care of their families, friends, loved ones, co-workers, strangers, and community, oftentimes before they take care of themselves. AMC used to understand this…and we saw a few examples of this with the characters of Angie, Mona, Ruth, Opal, Brooke, Maria, Jenny, Nina, Julia, Bianca…Where did these women go???

  26. Barb says:

    Unless they are doing an imposter Greenlee story, this media blitz only serves to highlight what they obviously felt was a failed recast. I doubt it will solve AMC’s ratings dilemna — it just highlights how many new faces AMC has and how quickly faces have been changing even when the names have not.

  27. Heather says:

    Count me among those who are NOT impressed by AMC’s latest ‘stunt.’ And ABC’s advertising campaign about the return of the ‘real’ Greenlee is the tackiest thing I have ever seen! While I WILL admit that Rebecca Budig WAS interesting to watch when Greenlee’s love interest was Leo DuPres, I thought that Greenlee lost most of her snap, crackle and pop when Josh Duhmel left the show.

    As for the return of the Hubbards – I can only remind everyone that, when ABC made a big deal about the returns of Robert, Anna, Holly, Laura, Scott and Rick Webber on General Hospital – ALL of those veteran characters returned to utterly STUPID stories which were NOT only painful to watch – but the stories destroyed the integrity of the characters as well! There is NO way that I believe that the Soap Assassins will be able to do justice to the return of the Hubbards! Plus, of course, there is the OBVIOUS problem that Jesse not only supposedly died, but AMC used Jesse as a ‘ghost’ who helped the character of ‘Gillian Lavery’ pass over to the ‘other side’ during ABC’s Summer of the Bloody Brides!

    Now – WHERE have I seen a bunch of stories about dead people who kept coming back to life? Oh – yeah – I seem to remember now – it is ALL coming back to me! It was on PORT CHARLES!!! Last time I looked, nearly the whole cotton-picking town of Port Charles was populated by dead people who kept coming back as ‘vampires’ and ‘angels.’ So – WHICH will Jesse be, I wonder – a ‘vampire’ or a ‘vampire-slaying angel?’

    You know, not so long ago, when the Soap Assassins took over the job of writing for All My children, TIIC made public statements in the soap press about this being the FIRST time that the Soap Assassins had taken over a soap which did NOT need ‘major surgery.’ However, when The Soap Assassins took over All My Children – AMC had a rating of 2.2 – exactly the SAME rating which Port Charles had when the Soap Assassins took over at PC!

    That is a total loss of 676,800 viewers which AMC has lost since 2005! HOWEVER, 451,200 viewers have been lost JUST since The Soap Assassins took over AMC’s ‘writing’ duties!

    There is NO way that the return of ANY of these veteran performers will be enough to bring back AMC’s lost viewers — BECAUSE the MAJORITY of viewers who jumped ship have abandoned AMC just since The Soap Assassins took over! So long as the veteran performers are returning to story concepts which remain as devoid of creativity and discernible direction as AMC’s most recent attempts at story-telling have been – then there is NO way that the return of ANY veteran performer will be able to rescue AMC from the ratings pit which AMC has SHOVED into by The Soap Assassins and their cohorts during the last couple of years!

    Marlena says: No one objects to Brown and Esensten more than moi. Years ago I wrote a negative review of Port Charles and I was chewed out by one of them in the craziest, angriest phone call a professional critic should ever have to receive! But even so, I’d never call them names. Bringing back characters from the dead has been done on every soap, not just PC. I’m reserving my opinion of the resurrected Jesse and Angie until I see them on screen for a few weeks, and I suggest so should you. Marlena is of the opinion that there’s only one person who can save All My Children: Agnes Nixon.

  28. Sarah says:

    Very nice column, Marlena. Unfortunately as the above comment shows, Rebecca’s fans are VERY VERY VERY hypersensitive to anyone pointing out some of the things you’ve discussed. The way I see it, if Rebecca Budig was worth all the hype then the hype would NOT be necessary! ABC needs to put her to artificial heights in order to convince the audience that it’s worth tuning into All My Children just to see her! They are desperate for ratings and care not how the loyal viewers who stuck by this show even after Budig departed feel — and especially not about how Sabine Singh feels after giving her life to this role for the last 9 months.

    Instead of taking the time and care to repair what is wrong with All My Children, ABC is taking a lazy and expensive approach. Rebecca Budig might bring viewers and ratings with her, but how long will those people stick around once they realize the writing is STILL awful?

    All of this has been done at the expense of Sabine Singh and all of the All My Children fans who had accepted her as Greenlee and who were enjoying watching the romance between Greenlee and Aidan develop. There was some true potential there for something very special. Sabine’s fans are left out in the cold with her, because of this ridiculous stunt by Frons.

  29. Dale says:

    Brava, Marlena! I love a broad that speaks her mind! You know what the worst part of the Budig debacle has been for me? Seeing that annoying caption on my TV for a week’s worth of entire OLTL episodes announcing that “the Real Greenlee” is returning”! All I could say to myself was, “Who cares?”.

    I love that you embrace a good debate, so here goes:

    This isn’t the first time ABC has done this. Think wayyyy back to 1991 and the proclamations that the “real Max is back” on OLTL. Poor Nicholas Walker. I am pretty sure he thought he was playing the “Real Max” for a year and a half. I still have the promotional postcards ABC sent to me in the mail when James DePaiva returned. Remeber those? The first one had a shot of James Depaiva’s rear end. Round and firm as his rear was, this postcard did not come to me in an envelope! What must have my post master thunk? LOL! The second one was a closeup picture of James’ fuzzy midriff, complete with open pants …the third was of his chest, and finally, the fourth was his face! I was horrifed at receiving these! And I am embarrassed to tell you I still have ‘em!

    Now, Mr. DePaiva is no Tony Geary, and Ms. Budig is no Erika Slezak, but I’d have to bet that ABC knew exactly what it was/is doing in hyping these returns. Many fan faves are less than stellar actors. But, Mr.DePaiva did help the floundering 1991 era OLTL find some ratings footing. I will be interested to see if this time around it helps AMC. Budig is a popular performer. If this publicity blitz helps AMC, I am all for it. AMC is too precious to lose, and though it reeks of desperation, I hope the “real Greenlee” can help turn the titanic around.

    What say you, Marlena?

    .

  30. Brooke says:

    Wow… very well written. I’ve wonder that myself. I told my hubby that the reason they’re doing this for Rebecca is that it was probably one of the stipulations of her return. This whole situation with the switch from Sabine to Rebecca makes my tummy kinda queezy. I’m just waiting for the big FLOP of the character. I feel that this is just another go for her to be able to advertise herself enough to make it to the big screen. I do like Rebecca but I don’t like what has happened and don’t have the facts as to who to blame. Either way, it was a nasty thing to do to whomever did it. Keep the drama on the soap, not the lives of the people who portray them.

  31. Thad Bosley says:

    Frons is a sexist pig. An actor friend of mine (who used to work on AMC) told me that when the Fusion story was tanking a couple of years back, Frons ordered all the girl’s skirts hiked up two inches. The ratings skyrocketed —- NOT.

    This “real” Greenlee campaign is the most embarrassing in the history of the medium.

  32. Coggie says:

    The fans have spoken, dahling.
    A million thanks for speaking out about this. You give it the golden validation it needs. For all of us.

    Sickened in Seattle.

  33. Sarah says:

    I know you won’t approve this comment but I thought you might like to see:

    http://weblogs.cw11.com/news/local/morningnews/blogs/2008/01/rebecca_budig_live.html

    Now, do you think Rebecca is being sincere and speaking out against the promos or do you think it’s damage control? Just curious :-) I thought she was being sincere but I suppose she could’ve been directed by ABC to make the distinction between real and original.

  34. Steve says:

    Thank you, Marlena!

    Rebecca Budig is a good actress, but nowhere near the talent level of Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams, whose return deserves the press Budig has been getting.

    It irritates me that Brian Frons believes hyping Budig as the real Greenlee will bring back lapsed viewers when Budig’s version had become so smug and unlikeable long before she left AMC. If the internet reaction is any indication, this will backfire as hardly anyone wants her back.

    What AMC needs is a new executive producer and writing team. They can bring back as many actors as they want, but if the writing still sucks, it won’t be worth watching.

    Marlena says: Steve! You have been writing me letters since the days of Afternoon TV magazine (c. 1980-83). So proud always to hear from you! xxoo

  35. Kat says:

    From killing off the character of Georgie Jones at Christmas on GH, to the very real humiliation of Sabine Singh over at AMC, I would agree with you about ABC Daytime. There is a pathology going on over there that is not going to get better until Frons is kicked out.

  36. Deborah says:

    Marlena used to work for Afternoon TV? Were you there when they had that marvelous cover of Leslie Charleson? Also — another fabulous cover which I remember featured David O’Brien and Carolee Campbell in a rowboat in the park. I think there was a quotation from a poem with it. It was a beautiful cover. It would be impossible to come up with beautiful covers like the covers which Afternoon TV used to publish with the kind of stuff which today’s soaps are always pushing.

    Marlena says: I was the editor of Afternoon TV for three years (1980-83) and it was the best job I ever had. What fun! The industry was so much healthier then and friendlier too! We shot all kinds of beautiful covers — AMC’s Greg and Jenny, OLTL’s Viki and Clint, AW’s Joey and Blaine (Ray Liotta was a doll baby!) and on and on in the supercouples of that era. Those were the days when soap mags were allowed to be classy and I actually tear up when I look at the issues and covers we did then. BTW, I’m familiar with the Doctors cover you are talking about but that was way before my time.

  37. Don says:

    Marlena, you are the true Diva!! You have reached Goddess level with your latest column! I probably agree with you 99% of the time.

  38. Skylar says:

    RebeccaFan4Lyfe lost all credibility with their immature criticism of your column and atrocious spelling. At least I feel (s)he did.

    You’ve been saying what’s been said a lot on the various boards I keep up with. I was curious, so I talked to a friend of mine who is about to finish his degree in business and corporate communication. He’ll be pursuing an MBA after this. His response to this whole “Real Greenlee” debacle was threefold: 1. It is entirely unethical as it embarrasses a terminated employee; 2. It seems to be a PR nightmare because of the backlash it’s receiving and should have been killed immediately; 3. It suggests (as you pointed out) some very bad decisions in upper management at ABCD and should result in some immediate terminations. (He also said that it could negatively effect Rebecca Budig’s career if her name is linked to or tainted by this campaign; I hope that doesn’t happen, as I sincerely believe she had little to do with this.)

    I wish I would have read this a lot sooner, but life gets busy. After seeing Rebecca back for a few days now, I have to say that I am not impressed. I’ve always been a mild fan of the character Greenlee and of Rebecca Budig – I can remember watching her as Michelle Bauer back in the 90s and being very upset when she left, only to rediscover her on AMC in 2003. However, I am of the opinion that 1. No character makes a soap and 2. No actor makes a character. There are exceptions – AMC wouldn’t be the same without Erica or Adam; nobody else could play Luke or Laura except Tony Geary and Genie Francis; and certainly OLTL would lose its charm without Erika Slezak. But Slezak Budig is not, and her talent is slightly above average at best. I never did envision her being successful outside of daytime… and I seem to have been correct.

    I’m a 21 year old male. Granted, I’m gay, but I have straight male friends my age who watch AMC with me (oh the joys of being in a dorm or fraternity house at noon… they got hooked too). They all agree – they’re more interested in seeing this fabled couple I’ve told them all about (I’m a bit of an AMC history nut, although I’ve only been a fan for five years) than they are seeing an attractive but mediocre actress return. One of them put it best: “I’d rather see these famous people. If I want to see a hot girl in a short skirt, I’ll walk down Sorority Row.”

    Sorority Row. Heh. And there you have it.

    Marlena says: Are you making reference to ‘Sorority Row,’ the soap witin a soap done on One Life to Live in the mid-80′s? Darling, wasn’t that before you were born?

    Also, Marlena rejoices that college students still watch soaps together. I always thought that this tradition had burned out a few years ago.

  39. Timothy says:

    ABC Daytime tried to tell the viewers that they loved real Greenlee. I didn’t agree with the ads touting “Why We Loved Greenlee” because the clips show her as whiny and mean little woman. I would change the ads to “Why We Hated Greenlee.” I saw the clip where Greenlee tore Kendall’s dress and it revealed false belly. Greenlee didn’t know it will affect Bianca and still justify her action even after Jack told her about it. I didn’t like Greenlee but recent “real life” events failed to improve this character in my eyes.

    “The art of advertisement, after the American manner, has introduced into all our life such a lavish use of superlatives, that no standard of value whatever is intact.”- Wyndham Lewis

    I think it is incredibly stupid of Rebecca by going back to AMC. The AMC fiasco over real Greenlee may hurt Rebecca. The industry is shut down by writers’ strike and she begged for her old job because she can’t find her big break. I thought she wanted to be a movie star but apparently it didn’t work out for her.

    “I think every American actor wants to be a movie star. But I never wanted to do stupid movies, I wanted to do films. I vowed I would never do a commercial, nor would I do a soap opera — both of which I did as soon as I left the [Acting] Company and was starving.”- Kevin Kline

    It didn’t help that Rebecca is a medicore actress and making expectations bigger than she is able to handle herself. I agreed with you that Rebecca is an attractive woman but unforunately she was not one of my favorite soap stars. I am suprised that she went back because AMC declined in quality. What if the return of Rebecca turned out to be the greatest comeback in the history? The answer most likely be no in my opinion.

    “Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked, and never mended well.”- Benjamin Franklin

    I think Rebecca wished that her decision to leave AMC in 2005 never happened at all. She took back the job that she walked away in 2005. The result was Sabine’s firing and the return of original portrayer. She knew that Sabine will lose her job and she didn’t have second thought about it. I think she is a pet for ABC Daytime.

    It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time and will ever continue to struggle. It is the same spirit that says, “You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.”- Abraham Lincoln

    Brian Frons justified the firing because of AMC’s rating. In his mind, replacing Sabine with Rebecca was his band-aid solution to AMC’s problems.

    “The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.”- Leon Trotsky

  40. Goldie says:

    I have never watched AMC, although I do know who R Budig is. Maybe they should have used the word “original” instead of “real”.

Speak Your Mind