Acting is a risky profession. Sometimes it pays off in dividends, like a role that lasts for decades or one that provides entrée into the right social circle. But other times it leads to disappointments and results in performers losing out on much-desired opportunities – like headlining their own series.
All of these actresses portray a character on one of the four remaining soaps – The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of our Lives, General Hospital, and The Young and the Restless. But only one of them can boast that she very nearly landed her own sitcom which would have aired on the CBS network.
But who can that actress be? Is it Rena Sofer (Quinn Fuller, BB), Deidre Hall (Dr. Marlena Evans, DAYS), Leslie Charleson (Dr. Monica Quartermaine, GH), or Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman, YR)?
Had the pilot been picked up and the series put into production, Sofer would have been the co-lead of Glory, Glory (opposite Michael York). But even the backing of producer Aaron Spelling and the superb direction courtesy of Robert Butler wasn’t enough to get ABC interested.
Hall appeared in two pilots that never went further than that inaugural stage. The first was a period crime drama titled The Adventures of Nick Carter which starred Robert Conrad. The second was for a proposed game show called Star Play. Of course, she did have one go series — Our House — but that was a drama that went two seasons.
Scott learned a very valuable lesson in 1979: always trust your agent. “I remember my talent test [for YR] and I remember being very nonchalant about the whole thing because the same week I had gotten a sitcom pilot for NBC…
“My agent [said], ‘oh, come on…it’s only three years…you’ll have a lot of fun,’ and I listened to her because I trusted her, in spite of the fact that I wanted to do the sitcom…boy [was] she right because the sitcom never got past the pilot stage, so it was definitely the right decision.”
Fans adore Charleson for her work as Dr. Monica Quartermaine – GH’s no-nonsense peacekeeper (and lord knows she has her work cut out for her where her husband’s family is concerned).
But had things gone just a tad differently back in 1974, Charleson might not have had the opportunity to take over the role of Monica. That year, she filmed a comedy pilot for CBS titled Another April.
Charleson was April Weston Moss, a liberal divorcée and the mother of a precocious youth, who returned to her childhood home in Seattle to join her understanding mother and her conservative and argumentative father. Though the pilot did air on CBS, it was never ordered to series.
So, if you hazarded a guess that perhaps Charleson was the daytime star in today’s query, then you were absolutely correct!
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