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Soap Love Notes: All My Children Takes Over Hot in Cleveland and CSI: Miami 

“I Love Lucci, Part 1” and “I Love Lucci, Part 2”

Photo Credit: TV Land

Hot in Cleveland is always a great place to see some of your favorite veteran TV stars as well as daytime actors. But the show recently took things to a whole new level when Wendie Malick’s soap diva “Victoria Chase” guest-starred on ABC’s All My Children. Victoria was forced to play opposite her nemesis, who just happened to be daytime’s biggest name of all time, Susan Lucci (Erica Kane). In the two-part episode, there were also appearances by Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin) and Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard).

Photo Credit: TV Land

The soap scenes were so funny — Lucci and Victoria were constantly trading insulting barbs and Susan was such a manipulating, backstabbing schemer — just like Erica Kane. As for Knight, he was more like his soap alter ego after blatantly lying to Joy about his one-night-stand with her from the past. He told her that wasn’t him but his evil twin, Alex. Apparently, Alex was the one to blow her off after their one night together. The lie worked because the two slept together again. Yes, Joy had two one-night-stands with the same man. That doesn’t sound like Knight to me — that sounds more like something his character, Tad the Cad, would do.

Hot in Cleveland boasts another soap tie. That would be Betty White. The uber actress had a recurring role for three years on the CBS soap The Bold and the Beautiful.

Photo Credit: TV Land

As for Hot in Cleveland, I have to say Season 2 is much funnier this season. I think the writers figured out the show’s winning formula; they’re utilizing all the women in fantastic ways; I’m liking the situations the characters get themselves into; and the cast chemistry is pretty wonderful. I like Hot in Cleveland — I call it comfort food TV because it’s just comforting to watch a show that has so many great actresses we’ve been watching for years.

Take a look:

Valerie Bertinelli
One Day at a Time, Touched by an Angel, Jenny Craig commercials and she had the lead in one of my favorite 80s miniseries of all time, I’ll Take Manhattan.

Wendie Malick
— she was the best thing about NBC’s Just Shoot Me! I loved her in ABC’s Jake in Progress and HBO’s Dream On too.

Jane Leeves — of course she was awesome on NBC’s Frasier as Daphne Moon. Daphne and Niles were one of my favorite sitcom couples.

Betty White — Everything. Do I need to even name any of her credits? I’ll simply say The Golden Girls alone qualifies her for instant membership in the TV sitcom hall of fame — should anyone want to start one. But, you know, she also starred on a “little” sitcom you may have heard of — it’s called The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Her more recent career success can be traced back to a Snickers Superbowl commercial that was simply perfection.

The other bonus with this show are the great guest stars. Mary Tyler Moore reunited with White in the Season 2 premiere; Leeves reunited with her Frasier co-star Peri Gilpin recently; and come to think of it Malick was in the final season of Frasier so it was a big ‘ol reunion; Bertinelli and her One Day at a Time mom Bonnie Franklin shared scenes again; and I thank whoever on the show decided to bring back John Schneider for another episode. He’s always a welcome presence.

Hot in Cleveland airs Wednesdays on TV Land at 10/9C.

CSI: Miami Preview

More All My Children in TV news — this time it’s a trio of All My Kids alums starring on CSI: Miami. Two former AMC actors are already part of the show: the series regular Eva LaRue, who plays Natalia Boa Vista on the long-running procedural; and Leven Rambin, who’s had a recurring role this season as Molly Sloan.

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

Back in her soap days Eva LaRue was one of the show’s heroines, the often-victimized Dr. Maria Santos Grey . Maria’s big love was Edmund Grey. LaRue also got to play out an amnesia storyline. As for Leven, she played a very unique character, the autistic teenager Lily Montgomery; and then a few years later played Lily’s manipulative look-a-like, Ava Benton.

Photo Credit: CBS

On this Sunday’s CSI: Miami, Jeff Branson guest stars. He’s currently on The Young and the Restless, but he’s best known for his roles on Guiding Light (Shayne Lewis) and All My Children (Jonathan Lavery). Branson will play Dennis Baldwin, the husband of a woman who’s been kidnapped and tortured.

CSI: Miami “Blood Lust” airs Sunday March 6 at 10/9C on CBS.

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