'As The World Turns' Alum Martha Byrne Talks About New Series, 'Weight'

Martha Byrne starred on As the World Turns for more than 20 years, and now she is getting ready to bring a new role to her fans. However, she is not returning to the soap world. This time, she is tackling web programming. Her new series, titled Weight: The Series, is a comedy that will premiere on its own website on August 2.

Byrne stars on the series as Claire, a woman who lost 100 pounds on a weight-loss reality series. It is after she loses the weight that her problems begin. Byrne also produces the new web series, and she brought one of her As the World Turns co-stars along for the ride. Trent Dawson, who appeared as Henry on the daytime soap, also stars in Weight.

TV Insider shared an interview with Martha Byrne on Thursday, and the actress spoke about Weight and her soap opera past. Byrne revealed that the networks were interested in the new series, but she would have seen her original idea changed too much. A network would have wanted to cast someone else in the role of Claire, as well.

In the interview with TV Insider, Byrne revealed more about the series and the reason she wanted to bring it to viewers.

"I could have pulled back the curtain on the world of soap opera—I could tell you insane stories for days!—but the issue of weight and the struggles people face just seemed much more relevant. This is so universal. It's certainly been a part of my own life forever, as it has with so many women—and men—you talk to. Weight is always the big topic of conversation. My character thinks her weight loss is going to solve everything. Her family will be thrilled! Balloons are gonna fly! But everything does not turn out wonderful because you're thin. That's the story I was excited to tell. It's so hard to find self-acceptance. We're all on the same page with that. Weight could have been a serious drama but we did a crazy comedy. It seems right to get the message out in a light way. When we have a few good laughs we see how alike we really are."
Byrne decided to bring her series to the web instead of traditional television, and that area is growing daily. New shows are announced for Netflix and Amazon often, and other series see new life online after the broadcast networks cancel them. Earlier this year, Hulu picked up The Mindy Project after Fox canceled it.

Byrne spoke with Palm Spring Life about the growth in online programming.

"The attitude towards original on-line content has changed. In the past, the advertising value was not perceived. There was a struggle here with risk and measurements for return on investment were difficult, making it tough for the little guys to get financing. Now traffic can be measured with feedback and clicks from an audience. There is more attention and money being put into online projects."
For more than 20 years, Martha Byrne was a face recognized by soap fans. The character of Lily Walsh was a driving force in the daily drama. She began as a teen on the series, and she admitted, "[she] was a chubby teenager with teeth missing. That didn't stop the fans from relating to [her] character and embracing her and loving Lily and Dusty as a couple."

Today, Martha Byrne still has loyal fans that follow her on Twitter. On Thursday, she joked about weight.

She shared with TV Insider about her continued popularity, thanks to her role on As the World Turns.
"[Soap fans] have such an emotional attachment to their shows, a deep connection you never see with primetime. Anytime I put a photo of me and Elizabeth Hubbard on social media the ATWT fans go bananas. A picture of me with Brian Bloom got 17,000 likes—and that romance was playing out on ATWT 30 years ago! That show really meant something to people, and it's still in their hearts and souls."
Weight is an issue that affects many, and some are fighting back. A previous Inquisitr report shared the story of a woman that was body shamed at an Old Navy store by a fellow customer. At first she returned home upset, but she later returned to the story and tried on the tank top the customer used to make fun of overweight people. The woman tried it on, took a selfie, and shared her story on Facebook.

What do you think? Will you watch Weight: The Series?

[Photo by David Livingston / Getty Images]