NEW YORK -- Where does American TV's most beautiful, conniving, and frequently married woman turn for financial advice?
If you are Erica Kane, the ice queen of the daytime soap "All My Children," you go to the same billionaire who advises anyone who is anyone really special: the "Omaha Oracle," Warren Buffett, temporary chief executive of Salomon Bros. Inc. and major shareholder in "All My Children's" broadcaster, Capital Cities/ABC.
Mr. Buffett took a break yesterday from the vexing difficulty of solving Salomon's problems -- it is at the core of an industrywide scandal -- to tape a segment of "All My Children," the long-running tale of love, loss, infidelity and, well, all the rest.
Erica receives guidance on how to obtain expansion capital for her booming cosmetics and fashion empire in less than five lines from Mr. Buffett and Tom Murphy, chairman of Capital Cities/ABC. An advance copy of the script was provided to the guest stars to preclude "financial faux pas," according to ABC.
The advice does not address the two types of acquisitions that have long vexed Erica's fans -- men and Daytime Emmys. Susan Lucci, the actress who plays Erica, has been nominated for best actress a dozen times but has never won. And that number of failures pales in comparison with her character's unsuccessful attempts at love. Erica has been married "at least" 72 times, according to one soaps watcher; in the view of another, 100 times.
Actually, Capital Cities/ABC says, Erica has had only six husbands -- but the network adds that romance is in the air. When not running her company, Enchantment, Erica is aggressively courting a former lover, who also happens to be a former brother-in-law.
This is the first speaking role for Mr. Buffett and Mr. Murphy, but they have appeared on TV before, most recently several years ago on another soap, "Loving." They played bouncers at an expensive restaurant who expelled a hysterical female customer. "These are not two men who would ordinarily grab a woman," noted Julie Hoover, a Capital Cities/ABC spokeswoman.
The "All My Children" espisode will air Nov. 18. Fans of Mr. Murphy and Mr. Buffett take note: "This is not something they intend to do with any regularity," Ms. Hoover said.
After all, money may be issue. Each will be paid union scale for appearances, which, based on the extent of their roles, should be $234. That is just a fraction of what the two take home from investments. It is, however, far more than Mr. Buffett said he will earn at Salomon: $1.