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October 7, 2015

SoapNet mixes drama with hockey in new series

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 2nd 2008 10:23AM
soapnetThe success of last summer's General Hospital: Night Shift was the harbinger of things to come. And now they have. SoapNet announced a new 10-episode drama series called MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives.

It makes sense that SoapNet would take another stab at creating its own dramas. Last year's Night Shift, the channel's first attempt at that kind of original programming, proved more popular than the reruns of daytime soaps it had been running at 11 o'clock at night. But the difference between this new offering -- about the ladies in the lives of professional hockey players...hockey and soap? -- is that Night Shift was based on General Hospital and used popular stars from the daytime show for the spin-off. If Steve Burton (Jason), Kimberly McCullough (Robin) and Jason Thompson (Patrick) were not in Nightshift, would SoapNet viewers have tuned in?

SoapNet is betting that they will, and thus the creation of MVP. It'll be produced in Toronto and tells the story of the Canadian Mustangs hockey team, the men on the ice and the women who watch them skate -- or something as riveting. It all sounds vaguely like a variation on Footballers Wives. The ABC version of that British hit is still to see the light.

According to Brian Frons, president of ABC daytime, they're going to spend real money to make MVP look like a primetime soap. He said that MVP will have "five to six times" the budget of Night Shift. Of course, that begs the question that since Night Shift was a hit, why not use all that money to do another 13 episodes? Bueller? Beuller? Frons?

There is still no word on whether Night Shift is coming back, but if it does, I hear it will have to be done differently. Last year's production schedule was a killer for the actors and production staff; principals were working on General Hospital during the regular daytime show and doubling up to participate in Night Shift. They were run ragged.

As for the prospect for MVP, SoapNet is promising that it will focus on "the shocking scandals of hockey players -- who are living the life of instant wealth, excess and tabloid celebrity -- with their girlfriends and wives joining the ride." I don't want to burst the soap bubble, but do the folks at ABC realize that ice hockey is not even as popular as golf and tennis on TV? Check the ratings. Even the Stanley Cup finals were miniscule when NBC aired them last year.

Yes, yes, I can hear it now: hockey is just a backdrop for all the drama. Okay, fine. The cast is composed of young stars including Lucas Bryant (Queer As Folk), Dillon Casey (Too Young to Marry), Mathew Bennett (Battlestar Galactica), Peter Miller, Kristin Booth (Supernatural), Anastasia Phillips, Deborah Odell, Natalie Krill and Olivia Waldriff. Mary Young Leckie and Heather Haldane are the executive producers.

The show starts on June 19 and will run every Thursday at 11 p.m. Will soap fans who are currently watching SoapNet to catch up on the daily repeats of The Young & the Restless, Days of Our Lives, All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital, be interested in a hockey drama with no big names and no hook to an existing soap in production? I'll reserve judgment till I see the show, but my gut reaction is -- no.

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Hey MVP fans...MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives is available on DVD - all 10 episodes, plus amazing bonus content, interviews with the entire cast, photo gallery with steamy pics of all the stars - 3 discs full of unsportsmanlike conduct, widescreen, 5.1 suround. Order the entire season NOW!
Visit http://www.cbcshop.ca

June 18 2008 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a pile of bullsh*t! This wasn't an original idea by any damn American Channel, this show aired already and was cancelled by CBC here in Canada. I like how they said it was going to have a big budget, what the hell would they know about it, CBC taped the damn show!

April 03 2008 at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"According to Brian Frons, president of ABC daytime, they're going to spend real money to make MVP look like a primetime soap."

Funny because, as pointed out above, it actually IS a primetime soap for the CBC.

April 02 2008 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Also, if it does well the show IS up for a second season. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080402.MVP02/TPStory/TPEntertainment/Television/
They still have all the sets and everything.

April 02 2008 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Indeed, this entire article should be re-written since its clearly just a show being sold to another network. I've never seen it but I blame it for killing jPod when they switched the times of the two shows, so I hate it nonetheless.

April 02 2008 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert J

It was actually a pretty good job, but CBC erred with its scheduling.

I do take some issue with the article acting like it's a SoapNet original.

April 02 2008 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To add to the comment above. CBC cancelled the series after it finished airing all 10 episodes. Great show but the actors have all moved on. Even if it does well on Soapnet, there will not be a second season.

April 02 2008 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

MVP was actually done by the CBC here in Canada, and likely has just been sold to SoapNet, it's definitely not an 'original idea' of theirs.

April 02 2008 at 10:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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