SOAP WATCH

Trace Adkins: Hello Genoa City!

The country singer talks about his turn on ''The Young and the Restless.'' Plus: ''As the World Turns'' gets flak over gay kissing, and ''General Hospital'' writer Bob Guza Jr. updates on the child-shooting story

Trace Adkins | TRACE ADKINS This Friday's Y&R features an acoustic version of the singer's No. 1 hit ''You're Gonna Miss This''
TRACE ADKINS This Friday's Y&R features an acoustic version of the singer's No. 1 hit ''You're Gonna Miss This''

With his many recent and upcoming TV and movie stints (among them Celebrity Apprentice and the horror movie Trailer Park of Terror), fans might be concerned that country singer Trace Adkins is answering the camera's siren call. No worries, says the chart-topping star. Adkins' daytime debut on The Young and the Restless this Friday (May 2), where he'll perform his single ''You're Gonna Miss This,'' was just a fun diversion.

Adkins pops into Genoa City to sing as a surprise for Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Phyllis' (Michelle Stafford) first anniversary. He's scripted as ''a friend of the guy who owned the bar where they got married'' — that would be Rocky (Lucas Babin). The singer says ''Miss This,'' which made it all the way to No. 1 during its 20-weeks-and-counting stay on the Billboard Hot Country chart, ''lends itself to an acoustic performance.'' He adds, ''I went and took a couple of guys with acoustic guitars and did an intimate little thing and it was fun. It was a good experience.''

Even if the Y&R gig winds up being a soap opera one-off for Adkins, he definitely seems to have caught at least a whiff of the acting bug. In addition to his second-place turn on Celebrity Apprentice this year, the budding actor also played a ''devil-type character'' in Trailer Park of Terror, based on the Imperium Comics series. Although he enjoyed working on the movie, he was surprised by the final cut. ''I thought it looked like something that would be fun to do, so I did it. I didn't really know that the rest of the movie was going to be like soft porn,” he quips about the movie's sex scenes. Adkins is fairly confident that he won't be similarly surprised by the final edit of his next movie, An American Carol, ''a lighthearted family thing'' that stars Kelsey Grammer.

Between his daytime debut on Y&R, a No. 1 song, a recent Best Male Video CMT award, a second-place Celebrity Apprentice finish, and a new album on the way, this is shaping up to be a banner year for Adkins, who credits it all to ''perseverance.'' ''You stick with it long enough and you have the chops, I mean, eventually you're gonna have a chance to do some good work.''

CHECKING IN WITH GH'S BOB GUZA JR.

General Hospital's shooting of 12-year-old Michael Corinthos III earlier this month stunned fans and brought head writer Bob Guza Jr. considerable scrutiny. This week, we check back with the scribe to see how things have played out in the four weeks since that controversial episode aired.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Many fans were concerned that the epiphanies the central characters [Carly, Sonny, and Jason] experienced when Michael was shot would be short lived.
BOB GUZA JR.: You will see professional and personal changes that will last for these people. Sonny is going to have to make a very, very painful professional decision, which will make Jason then have to make a painful professional decision. Carly will then have to deal with the reality of that and make a choice in terms of her friendship with the two of them. It's very, very big both professionally and personally. The shooting of Michael, the incapacitating of Michael, was the biggest thing we could do to these three people.

Do you think that skeptics are seeing the lasting changes already?
I really hope so. We're starting to have people coming back and saying, ''At least Sonny and Jason are now seeing what they've wrought. And they're seeing the consequences of this.'' Which is exactly what we want them to feel. We want them to empathize but we want them to feel that these people made choices that are causing consequences.

When we last spoke, you expressed a little bit of concern about the show maybe getting a little bit too depressing. How are you feeling about that?
Doing this to a kid is horrible. It's just dreadful.... It's so grim that my instinct as a fan is to want to do some funny stuff. Some light stuff. But it's so hard because this is an umbrella story. It affects everybody. If Carly were suddenly chastising Max for sleeping with Diane, you'd go ''Wait a minute. Your son, your 12-year-old son, is in a coma and you're worried about Diane sleeping with Max?'' You wouldn't buy it because the character wouldn't do it. And that's the line we've had to walk, and I'm very proud we've walked it. And I hope the audience understands that we had to do this diligence so we could get to a place where we could get to that balance.

So have you felt a need to ramp up the romance?
There's a lot of romance to be had in all of this... Sonny and Carly are actually going to get to a highly romantic place that underscores their deep connection. Jason and Liz are going to reconnect over this in a very romantic, though sadder way, because they've made the choice not to be together.

NUKE-LEAR RESPONSE

After months of public speculation that As the World Turns was treating its gay couple, Luke and Noah, differently than other couples, many fans were delighted when the two finally kissed again last week. But there were those who were less-than-thrilled: The American Family Association issued a call for action against Proctor & Gamble, which owns and runs the show, for ''using explicit, open-mouth homosexual kissing'' and making ''the decision to support the homosexual agenda.''

P&G doesn't appear to be cowering. The company told EW.com: ''P&G has a diverse, global workforce and a diverse group of consumers who use our products. We strive to be a responsible advertiser, and sponsor programming that enables us to connect with a diverse consumer audience. We recognize that there are times when the subject matter on P&G sponsored content will not be acceptable to all viewers, and ultimately, the viewer decides what is right for their personal entertainment choices.''

In other words, if you don't like it, don't watch it.

Originally posted Apr 30, 2008
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