Erica Kane Becoming TV's Ultimate Cougar - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Erica Kane Becoming TV's Ultimate Cougar

Updated:

NEW YORK - Susan Lucci's memorable "All My Children" character is about to become TV's Ultimate Cougar.

The conniving Erica Kane, with 10 husbands down already, will fall into the arms of a much younger man on ABC's soap opera this summer. To make life a little more complicated, it's her daughter's ex-husband and ex-fiance's stepson.

Got that straight?

The soap opera's summer story line puts Lucci squarely into television's zeitgeist, now buzzing with stories about experienced women looking for younger models - as opposed to old men looking for models.

Cable's TV Land just wrapped up "The Cougar," a reality series featuring a 40-year-old blond mother of four with salivating 20-somethings competing for her hand. ABC is prepping the comedy "Cougar Town" for the fall, with former "Friends" star Courteney Cox re-entering the dating world. On CBS' "Accidentally on Purpose," Jenna Elfman has a baby with a slacker she picked up for a one-night stand.

"Certainly the fact that it is a hot topic right now makes it all that more delicious for us," said "All My Children" executive producer Julie Hanan Carruthers. "It doesn't mean that that is how we're going to tell the story."

And it's hard to find a TV character with a richer history. Kane has lived a lot since arriving in fictional Pine Valley in 1970, with a drug addiction, time in prison, a stolen embryo, a rape that resulted in a daughter, a stabbing of Husband No. 8 and many, many manipulations.

She reached double figures in husbands just two years ago.

While Demi Moore may seem the prototype cougar these days, Lucci's frame of reference leads her to Anne Bancroft's Mrs. Robinson and her famous seduction of Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate."

In the relationship with Ryan Lavery, "I'm sure people would expect it to be the kind of story line where Erica was manipulating things," Lucci said. "But there's been zero of that."

Those involved say the idea came from the audience.

Carruthers said Lucci, 62, and the 39-year-old Cameron Mathison, who plays Ryan, have a good comic chemistry and writers were looking for a way to feature them more, although not necessarily as romantic partners. Ryan was once married to Kendall, the girl Kane gave birth to after being raped at age 14.

Erica and Ryan went on a business trip together in episodes early this spring. Their car broke down, they found a cabin in the woods, they drew separate baths and, when Erica climbed on Ryan's shoulders searching for better cell phone reception, she slipped and fell into his arms.

Zing!

Viewers noticed the chemistry and writers decided to capitalize on it.

June 22, when he kisses her on the cheek, is the first "butterfly moment," Carruthers said.

She believes the story will mean more to viewers than other TV cougar stories simply because it's been nearly 40 years of Lucci's character.

"Everyone watching the show has a sense of her vulnerability, her strength, her eccentricities," she said. "They've gotten to know Ryan just as well. So there's a lot more to it than just, `oh, my God she wants a younger man' or `oh, my God, he wants an older woman."

How much older? Don't ask. They don't tell ages on soap operas.

Mathison said he's excited, not intimidated, by the story.

"Think about this," Lucci said. "I slept with his father. He slept with my daughter. There has to be, at a certain point, (thoughts of) what does he know about me? What does he think he knows about me? As an actor, there's so much material to plumb into."

After those first pecks on the cheek, how much longer until the Big Moment?

Remember. This is daytime television.

"Make 'em wait, make 'em wait, make 'em wait," Carruthers said. "There are a lot of almosts."

EDITOR'S NOTE - David Bauder can be reached at dbauder"at"ap.org

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • Defense says schedules show Cosby wasn't around for assault

    Defense says schedules show Cosby wasn't around for assault

    Friday, April 20 2018 2:44 PM EDT2018-04-20 18:44:45 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Slocum). Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial, Thursday, April 19, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum). Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial, Thursday, April 19, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.
    Bill Cosby's lawyers are scrambling to make sure jurors at his sexual assault retrial hear from accuser Andrea Constand's confidante before deliberations get underway next week. 
    Bill Cosby's lawyers are scrambling to make sure jurors at his sexual assault retrial hear from accuser Andrea Constand's confidante before deliberations get underway next week. 
  • Pacino, De Palma remember 'Scarface' at Tribeca reunion

    Pacino, De Palma remember 'Scarface' at Tribeca reunion

    Friday, April 20 2018 2:44 PM EDT2018-04-20 18:44:34 GMT
    (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP). From left to right, actor Steven Bauer, actress Michelle Pfeiffer, director Brian De Palma and actor Al Pacino attend a 35th anniversary screening "Scarface" at the Beacon Theatre during 2018 Tribeca Film Festival ...(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP). From left to right, actor Steven Bauer, actress Michelle Pfeiffer, director Brian De Palma and actor Al Pacino attend a 35th anniversary screening "Scarface" at the Beacon Theatre during 2018 Tribeca Film Festival ...
    Old "Scarface" friends said hello again at a 35th anniversary screening Thursday that reunited stars and filmmaker Brian De Palma for an evening full of reflection on the ferocious and garish gangster epic. 
    Old "Scarface" friends said hello again at a 35th anniversary screening Thursday that reunited stars and filmmaker Brian De Palma for an evening full of reflection on the ferocious and garish gangster epic. 
  • Sarah Jessica Parker calls Cynthia Nixon's run 'exciting'

    Sarah Jessica Parker calls Cynthia Nixon's run 'exciting'

    Friday, April 20 2018 2:44 PM EDT2018-04-20 18:44:30 GMT
    (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP). Sarah Jessica Parker, left, and Jacqueline Bisset attend the screening for "Blue Night" during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at the SVA Theatre on Thursday, April 19, 2018, in New York.(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP). Sarah Jessica Parker, left, and Jacqueline Bisset attend the screening for "Blue Night" during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at the SVA Theatre on Thursday, April 19, 2018, in New York.
    Cynthia Nixon's quest for the governorship of New York state has at least one high-profile fan excited _ Sarah Jessica Parker. 
    Cynthia Nixon's quest for the governorship of New York state has at least one high-profile fan excited _ Sarah Jessica Parker. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.