The Nuke Files


By Nelson Branco

As The World Turns is finding out there is such a thing as bad publicity. The CBS sudser is making international headlines as fans protest the show -- and some boycott the entire network -- until gay supercouple Noah Mayer (Jake Silbermann) and Luke Snyder (Van Hansis) are given another kiss.

'Nuke,' as fans call the couple, have only kissed twice -- both six months ago, in a highly publicized event that drew both critical applause and high ratings. But the soap has been awkwardly avoiding all physical contact ever since the two young teenagers became an official couple. There was even a Valentine's Day montage during which every couple in Oakdale except for Nuke kissed -- they merely hugged.

Now the show's own actors are speaking up about the controversy.

Austin Peck (Brad) and Terri Colombino (Katie) -- whose steamy, straight sex scenes are by far the most racy on the show -- don't mince words when asked about the Nuke cool-down. 'ATWT got scared off because there were two men,' Peck tells Out. Colombino says there's one simple reason her character's sex life won't suffer the same fate: 'I have a vagina.'

It's possible the protests of the past week may still spark a positive outcome. A veteran actor on the show tells Out, 'Producers are rethinking their decision. To say they are panicking is an understatement.'

CBS' senior vice-president of daytime TV Barbara Bloom has said that Luke and Noah's romance will continue. "If that means there is a natural progression to the physical relationship, I would be in support of it," she told the AP.

Of course they would, says the veteran actor. 'Now the powers-that-be are wondering how to turn the media attention to their advantage,' the actor says. 'I personally wouldn't be surprised if Noah and Luke kissed by May sweeps. There's an old saying in soaps -- make them wait. And perhaps that's been their intention all this time. Soaps are dying, and losing audience every day -- and they've been handed a life jacket. We'd be dumb not to put it on.'