The Dope on the Soaps

February 04, 1994|By Beth Hannan | Beth Hannan,Contributing Writer

Does Antonio scorch the screen the most? Or does Drake or Frank have hotter stuff? Is Kimberlin, Louise or Michael the meanest of the mean? Can Maxine show up two young whippersnappers half her age?

The answers will be revealed at 9 tonight on the "Tenth Annual Soap Opera Digest Awards," with Lisa Rinna, from "Days of Our Lives," and Kelsey Grammer, who formerly appeared in "Another World" and now stars in prime time's "Frasier," serving as hosts.

How can you tell the difference between the Soap Opera Digest Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards? Susan Lucci has won a Soap Opera Digest Award.

MA The other difference is that the Soap Opera Digest Awards are

voted by the fans, not the members of the television academy.

Since every award show gives its voting methods, here's a brief explanation. (Imagine a Price Waterhouse-type voice): The magazine's editors picked six nominees for each category and listed them on a ballot in the Sept. 28, 1993, issue. The exception is the "Hottest Male and Female" categories. Those nominations were based on the volume of positive reader mail the magazine receives for each actor. The three actors with most votes are the nominees listed below. The performer with the most votes is the winner who will be announced tonight.

Follow that? Good. Now let's get back to the fun stuff.

Soap opera columnists Nancy M. Reichardt, who writes the syndicated "Tune in Tomorrow" column, and Lynda Hirsch, who writes the "Daytime Dial" that appears Mondays in The Sun, agreed to handicap the awards.

The nominated performances are from the period July 1992 to July 1993. But this show can be harder to predict than the Daytime Emmy Awards.

"[The awards are] chosen by the fans so sometimes it doesn't go on story line alone," says Ms. Reichardt. "It goes more on personal preference or who they like."

The show's most unusual aspect is the split between the ratings for the soaps and the stars nominated. In theory, the two should match. But it doesn't always work that way.

"It's really strange," says Ms. Hirsch. " 'Days' has always had a strong fan club and really fervent fans. Unfortunately none of them seems to have a Nielsen ratings box on their TV sets."

The following are Ms. Hirsch and Ms. Reichardt's predictions (but not necessarily their preferences) of tonight's winners::

Nominees: Frank Dicopoulous (Frank Cooper), "Guiding Light"; Drake Hogestyn (John Black), "Days of Our Lives"; Antonio Sabato Jr. (Jagger Cates), "General Hospital."

"Neither one of the others have the sex appeal of Antonio Sabato Jr.,' " says Ms. Reichardt. Frank Dicopoulous was sort of hot for a while, she says, "but then they married his character off and he's not always in the forefront anymore."

Mr. Dicopoulous would agree. "He said to me he doesn't have a chance," says Ms. Hirsch. "I would have said Drake. 'Days' has this core of fans, but I think Antonio's really hot and I think people who don't normally vote will vote for him." Nominees: Jensen Buchanan (Victoria Harrison/Marley Love), "Another World"; Melina Kanakaredes (Eleni Cooper), "Guiding Light"; Melissa Reeves (Jennifer Deveraux), "Days of Our Lives."

Both Ms. Hirsch and Ms. Reichardt agree -- Melissa Reeves.

"They've seen her grow up on the show," says Ms. Hirsch. "The only reason they might have been against Melissa is that the actor who played her husband on the show left, and they tried to give her another romance but it didn't work, so the fans were a little antagonized by it, but they've settled down now so she has a real good chance."


Nominees: Kimberlin Brown (Sheila Carter Forrester), "The Bold and the Beautiful" (CBS); Louise Sorel (Vivian Alamain), "Days of Our Lives"; Michael Zaslow (Roger Thorpe), "Guiding Light."

"They definitely have the best three there. How about a three-way tie?" suggests Ms. Reichardt. But she thinks Michael Zaslow has the edge.

"They are all amazingly good," agrees Ms. Hirsch. "I'm going to go with Michael Zaslow." Does that mean Roger Thorpe is the "meanest of the mean"?

"If you were just mean, you wouldn't cut it," says Ms. Hirsch. "Kimberlin's character is the mean- est of the mean. She's almost irredeemable. Viewers like their villains with a little bit of gray in them. You hate them but you don't want them gone. There was this big story line where everyone thought Roger maybe was dead and the fans were saying, 'He can't be dead. Please don't let him be dead,' because they like him so much."

Nominees: Sean Kanan (A. J. Quartermaine), "General Hospital"; Patrick Muldoon (Austin Reed), "Days of Our Lives"; Paolo Seganti (Damian Grimaldi), "As the World Turns."

"I would go with [Sean Kanan] because his character has been fighting alcoholism and he's had lots of family problems," says Ms. Reichardt. "[Patrick Muldoon's character] has been through the mill, too, but now they've put him on the back burner.

"It's going to be Patrick Muldoon [due to] those 'Days' fans," Ms. Hirsch predicts.

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