- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 28, 2007

Soaps lather up for Web

Daytime is going online at CBS.

According to Variety, the Tiffany network has decided to make three of its top-rated soaps plus “The Price Is Right” available for free on-demand streaming via CBS.com and the CBS Audience Network.

The serials “As the World Turns,” “Guiding Light” and “The Young and the Restless” are being posted at 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, right after the network’s West Coast daytime feed concludes. CBS Audience Network includes Web sites from AOL to Veoh.

“Price” isn’t online yet, but CBS has a deal in place with the show’s producers to begin streaming soon, Variety says. The network also is talking to the producers of “The Bold and the Beautiful” about putting that show online.

Audiences that want to watch daytime shows online will have to act quickly, however. CBS plans to make each episode available to stream for just one week after its initial broadcast. By contrast, episodes of many prime-time shows can be viewed for a month or longer after broadcast.

Barbara Bloom, who heads up daytime programming for CBS, says sudser streaming will be a boon to the net and its sponsors.

“It establishes more opportunities for our rabid fans to watch their favorite shows, creates a new platform to recruit potential new viewers to our daytime programming, and it offers our advertisers another means to reach a valuable demographic audience,” she says.

Baby-food giant Gerber has signed up as a “major” sponsor for the daytime streams, CBS says.

The network isn’t the first to make its soaps available online.

NBC’s “Passions” has been streaming online via NBC.com and available for purchase via ITunes, while the network’s Sony-distributed “Days of Our Lives” recently made its digital debut.

ABC, which owns its own soaps, was a pioneer in re-purposing its daytime dramas, making same-day repeats of its shows available via cable’s SoapNet channel — but it hasn’t made its daytime dramas available online.

Grace with child

CNN crime-talk maven Nancy Grace was married secretly in April and is expecting twins, says the Atlanta Journal Constitution, citing a story published Tuesday in the New York Post.

Miss Grace, 47, reportedly married a longtime friend from Atlanta in a quiet April ceremony in Macon, Ga.

“I’m finally not keeping it a secret anymore,” she told the New York Post.

According to the report, Miss Grace is married to David Linch, an Atlanta investment banker. The two attended Mercer University together in the 1970s and had stayed in touch, the New York Post says.

Miss Grace told the newspaper their marriage was a “spur of the moment decision” and that the pair had a simple ceremony in Macon, Miss Grace’s hometown.

The New York Post said Miss Grace declined to say if she had had fertility treatments to become pregnant at age 47.

“But you tell women out there that there is hope,” she told the tabloid.

Miss Grace is a one-time Fulton County prosecutor known for her tough tactics and impassioned arguments. She hosted a show on Court TV before joining CNN.

Joey in sync with ‘Bee’

Ex-‘N Sync-er and “Dancing With the Stars” finalist Joey Fatone will host NBC’s karaoke-themed contest show “The Singing Bee,” which the network will debut ahead of schedule on July 10 at 9:30 p.m.

NBC initially planned the show’s premiere for the fall, but when Fox announced it was debuting the similarly themed “Don’t Forget the Lyrics!” on July 11, the Peacock moved up the “Bee’s” debut, MediaWeek.com reports.

Much like “Lyrics,” which will be hosted by Wayne Brady, “Bee” will feature contestants attempting to sing accurately the lyrics to popular songs. Fox had hoped to take NBC by surprise with its summer debut of “Lyrics,” but now “Bee” is premiering a day ahead of its competitor.

The current scheduling skirmish between the two networks harkens back to the 2004-05 season, when Fox beat NBC to the punch with the failed debut of “The Next Great Champ,” a quickly turned-around copycat of NBC’s much-hyped boxing contest show “The Contender,” which premiered at midseason.

Both shows fared poorly in the ratings.

On tap tonight

Hey, Paula (10 p.m. on Bravo): Former Laker Girl-turned-‘80s pop diva-turned “American Idol” judge (and let’s not forget jewelry peddler, with her own line of trinkets on QVC) Paula Abdul is reinventing herself yet again, this time as the star of her own reality series. During the hourlong premiere, cameras trail her every move. We see the 45-year-old star spend four hours getting gussied up to walk the red carpet at the Grammys, make jokes about poop and nearly come unglued when her stylist — and best friend, Daniel, who also serves as her publicist and attends to her four small dogs — packs the wrong pair of sneakers for an out-of-town trip.

What could be more exciting?

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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