All My Children's Julia Barr on Pine Valley Revisited and the 'Really Good' Stuff Ahead

All My Children SpoilersLife was going pretty great for All My Children‘s Brooke, before the big bang.

She’d rescued her main squeeze’s beloved home. She’d been proposed to in grand style, with most of the town looking on. Finally, after decades of playing runner-up to the glamorous Erica Kane, Ms. English was having her moment.

But then JR stuck his gun out of a secret-in-name-only passageway, and everything went dark – for almost a year-and-a-half.

But now Brooke – and portrayer Julia Barr – are back in an online revival of the beloved daytime drama scheduled to launch this spring. TVLine caught up with the soap vet during her first week back at work; here, she gives you the scoop on bringing Pine Valley back to life.

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TVLINE | Last we saw Brooke, everything seemed to be going pretty well for her… and then a shot rang out.
That’s right. And it knocked a big old vase off the mantelpiece. [Laughs] I’m kidding. I’m sorry, I’m not at liberty to discuss what happened but it’s actually a great opening script that lets you know a certain amount of things that happened and who they happened to. It’s really good. It’s approximately five years in the future as far as [the show] wanting to age some of the kids. Of course, the adults did not age, and I’m so glad. [Laughs]

TVLINE | How have your first days gone?
Actually, not bad… But I have to tell you, [former AMC producer] Ginger Smith, who’s our executive producer… has pulled together a fantastic group of people… There’ll be some surprises. I was even surprised yesterday to hear about somebody that I’ll be working with on Thursday. She’s pulled together this group of not only directors we all know but camera people, production people… It’s really great. To step into something that is familiar and yet completely unfamiliar in a way, it’s great to have this going forward as a group… Adam and Brooke are engaged and still very much in love, so we’ll see what happens. And there’s a lot of intrigue about what actually happened at Adam and Brooke’s engagement party five years ago!

TVLINE | With whom have you worked so far?
I’ve worked with a lot of the new cast – the new Pete Courtland [Robert Scott Wilson], and the new Miranda [Denyse Tontz] and a new character Celia [Jordan Lane Price]. They’re all terrific and so sweet. It’s very nice to have a mix of vets and newbies – great energy.

TVLINE | Whose dressing room is near yours in the new Stamford, Conn., studio?
They’re in blocks. You go down one hallway and you enter a room that’s like a big area that’s central, and off those are like 10 dressing rooms. I’m in the room [with] Jill [Larson], Thorsten [Kaye], Jordi [Vilasuso], Lindsay [Hartley]… oh, and Vincent [Irizarry]… It’s a very nice set-up. The actual studio itself, the stage is huge. They have some sets up, and they’ve done a great job of bringing so much of what the sets looked like prior to the show going off the air to now. It’s very impressive.

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TVLINE | What did you think as you looked around and saw these familiar places you hadn’t visited in a while, like the Chandler Parlor?
It’s familiar and bizarre at the same time. [Laughs] You know, it’s like the old expression “It’s like riding a bike.” You haven’t been on one maybe in however many years, but you just get back on and it’s just like it was. That’s part of the comfort of all of this, too. With all of these people, I mean I was thinking about how I’ve known Cady McClain – she and I had a couple of scenes yesterday – since she was 17 years old… David Canary and Jill, we have this sort of unspoken bond from working and knowing each other for so many years. And it’s really lovely because it envelops you in this comfort level, because so much is new – and anxiety-producing, might I add… [Laughs] There’s a great deal of excitement about what this actually could be. And if it isn’t, whatever happens, we’re all just happy to be there for a while.

TVLINE | There is that sense of, “It’s actually happening?”
I think the last time, people just assumed it was an effort that wasn’t thought through… But [Prospect Park, the company behind the AMC and One Life to Live relaunches] had a plan all along. I think it’s exactly what media is going to do from now on. It will be multi-platform. It will reach viewers of all demographics, all ages, because you can view it whenever you want on whatever portable device because they’ve partnered with iTunes and Hulu and Hulu Plus.

TVLINE | What’s your schedule like?
[AMC] started first, but we’re only doing two weeks. After that, it’ll be five weeks on, five weeks off, and it’ll be the same for One Life… I tell you, it’s amazing. I’m so glad that Agnes [Nixon, creator of AMC and OLTL] is involved with it. I’m so glad that Prospect Park has her [as] a part of it.

Are you looking forward to the new AMC? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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37 Comments
  1. Everyone needs to get aboard the train now, welcome back AMC

  2. Scott says:

    The cast looks awesome and can’t wait! Love that Rob Wilson too!

  3. Angela says:

    5 years and Brooke and Adam are STILL engaged? WTF?

    • Kvivik says:

      They may be married by now. She couldn’t give away any of the secrets of the first episode. We’ll find out then.

    • Anglea! I read that and had the same WTF feeling? When has Adam ever had a long engagment! especilly with brooke! I swear they better NOT break them up! Brooke and Adam are soul maters and belong together..hopefully I’m thinking maybe they’ll get married now that JR will be out of his coma! that is what I’m hoping the excuse for their non-marriage would be! #TeamAdam&Brooke all the way!

  4. Lindsay says:

    I love Julia! I’m so glad she is back.

  5. saveorsuds says:

    I’m really intrigued by the rebooted and restored AMC. I will be checking it out.

  6. ivankipling says:

    I’m thrilled having Julia Barr&All My Children back!!THRILLED!!!

  7. Jake says:

    I love Julia Barr!

  8. I haven’t looked this forward to something in a long time!

  9. Cathy says:

    I have been waiting a year and a half for this story to continue, and can’t wait for the first episode to air!

  10. ctwildheart says:

    Thrilled to see Pine Valley (and Llanview) again. But I second Angela’s WTF after FIVE years engaged but not married?!?!

  11. TM says:

    Maybe they’re still engaged because Brooke was shot at her engagement party and has been in a coma for all this time?

  12. april-ann says:

    WONDERFUL interview. I’ve missed Brooke, and so many of them! I feel homesick for Pine Valley and Llanview. But I just can’t imagine them taping anywhere other than in NYC!

  13. Wayne Lawless says:

    I’m really sorry Daniel Kennedy as Petey is not returning. He was at first scheduled to, but I don’t know what happened.

  14. Samantha says:

    Crossing my fingers that “Multi-platform” includes cable, as we’ve been hearing for the past several week!!!!!!

  15. Kristoffer says:

    I stopped watching soaps (AMC, OLTL and GH) many many years ago but reading about this new format has me curious enough to watch again. I hope the shows do really well online. Network television needs to not only step up their game but realize the way they account for ratings now is antiquated. Many years ago the music industry never thought people would pay for music and not be able to hold a CD in their hand. They were wrong. The same happened with the movie rental business. If a new medium like this does well it could change the face of television as we know it. We have all had shows that we have loved and though were great canceled way too early because the Nielsen ratings just were not high enough. This could be the turning point.

  16. Mary Kay says:

    I watched AMC since I was 19… I’m now 52. When the show ended, it was like losing old friends. My husband and I are so excited about the revival. Brooke and Dixie are two of our favorites – now we just need Tad and Erica on board!! Can’t wait for the first episode…keep us posted with the date and time.

  17. zoe says:

    Five weeks on? FIve weeks off? That sounds weird.

  18. Blake S says:

    I can’t wait! I’ve watched AMC since I was a kid with my parents. Now I’m 26. I hope they’re successful and open the eyes of other companies still stuck back in the days of old media. My birthday is in April. What a fantastic birthday present!

  19. LLA says:

    So excited! Love Julia Barr. I got hooked on AMC in college in 1979 and watched it up to the end. Unfortunately, TPTB made some huge mistakes in the last 10 yrs which contributed to the ratings decline. Writing became plot driven instead of character driven which does not work in soaps. Also, in attempt to bring in the younger demographic–they either put many of the vets on the back burner or let the go from the show (Julia). So, viewers lost their connection to Pine Valley not to mention some really good actors. (Sorry–but some of the younger ones weren’t very good).

    I hope that PP remembers that soaps are successful when the stories are multi-generational. (Downton Abbey anyone?) When I was a kid–the characters that brought me back day after day were often old enough to be my grandparents. Palmer, Phoebe, Mona etc. My whole dorm could not wait for Phoebe and Mona to get into a tiff–it was the best-ha! And we loved watching Palmer manipulate Nina and so forth. Of course, we liked the younger characters as well–but they would have been boring without the entire canvas.

    I’ve read that PP wants to concentrate mainly on the younger characters–which will be a mistake. After all–it’s the long time fans that fought for these shows to come back. Don’t alienate them. Just write for everyone

    • MST says:

      You are so right! I started watching with my BFF and her older sisters after school in the mid-seventies and was hooked! I will always miss Phoebe, Mona, Palmer, Myra, etc. So glad that legacy characters like Adam, Brooke, Opal and Dr. Joe are back and there will be Petey and I’m guessing Francesca James will be playing Kelly to restore the Tyler and Courtlandt families to the canvas! I’m sure that Susan Lucci and Michael Knight will return later. It seems like the five on/five off schedule allows freedom for the actors and may enable people like Susan and Alicia to return. I’m thrilled beyond words!

  20. Well while I find it hard to believe Brooke and Adam aren’t married I’m glad to see or know that tare still together! so I’ll take them anyway I can get them

  21. Amy says:

    Julia is a class-act! This is a great interview, and I’m so gla that she and David Canary are back. PP knows what it’s doing by having strong veterans and new blood. I haven’t been this excited since JB came back for DC’s exit.

    I sure hope the five-year engagement means we’ll get to see a wedding!! I’ve waited for years for these two to be happy!

  22. Eric says:

    I think 5 weeks on 5 weeks off is for the filming not the viewing. Sitcoms shoot 3 weeks on 3 weeks off.

  23. dickens says:

    Here’s what i have to say. If you were THAT passionate about the show the numbers would have reflected it and NEITHER show would be facing the vast desert lands of the internet and “multi-platforms”..oh yeah i wanna buy an XBOX just to watch these shows. The truth is when they aired on broadcast channels we got so complacent as viewers we could take them or leave them. Oh don’t like this direction i’ll watch again in a few months if i think it may get better. UH-UH. That ain’t the way you convince a network to keep shows by dropping in and out by the thousands when you choose to year after year, It was a soap blood bath that resulted in 4 count them 4 network soaps now and i will continue to watch all of them good or bad in the hopes i’m not watching another DIY YOUR LIFE show. How many more programs need to instruct me on how to cook,eat healthy,go run…and blah blah blah. I WILL support these on-line shows but sadly enough they’ll end up in the YOUTUBE graveyard like the originals they spawned from. Enjoy. And pat yourselve’s on the back for not supporting the revolutionary look of daytime that was the new GUIDING LIGHT.and undoubtedly will now be the look of these two soaps. Had Guiding Light had the fan support to flourish in it’s new production values back then we probably would be enjoying a change in our old shows and a spate of new ones. I can’t believe the comments on this page..you should all be ashamed of yourselves. If adam and brooke aren’t married..if this or that hasn’t happened…SHUT UP AND START GARNERING SUPPORT AND VIEWERSHIP..tell people..encourage old fans you know…do something so these don’t last till JANUARY!!!!!

  24. Geri says:

    Are these shows going to be on HULU (free?). I love catching up with my shows when I have to work. Thanks.

  25. Kathy Dennis says:

    I’ve loved Julia since she came on the show. She sent autographed photos and letters to me. In 1994 one said look out for February there will be fireworks! That’s when she was pregnant with Tads 2nd baby but lost it due to a tubal (ectopic ) pregnancy I hope Brooke has a front burner storyline. I love her acting she’s great

  26. Ana K says:

    I’m so excited and sad at the same
    time! I love this show but I will not be able to watch from Canada! I hope they do something so that all fans can watch! I watched for 30 years and I would like to continue to!

  27. Joseph Lenz says:

    I am so Happy I have goose bumps, I love All my children. When they took it off the air it was like tearing a piece of my family away! Thank you for bringing the show back!!

  28. I am so excited that AMC is coming back. I hope I will be able to find where it will be broadcast.

  29. Emily Brown says:

    It will be so great to have All My Children back on TV. I watched and enjoyed it for 20 yrs.
    I say Welcome back and hope it all goes well.

  30. Tammie Black says:

    I am so glad it’s back on. I watch it on the OWN network. Yea it’s a littlw behind schedule but it’s still on tv. I just cant Waite, i hope they bring back Tad, Kendal, i can take/leave Erica. I got so sick of her character being hollier than thou attitude. My all time fave was/is Micheal E. Night (Tad) & the original Babe. Thank you so much fir bringing back a part of most of our childhoods. When your a fan of AMC your a fan for life.

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