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September 19, 2014

Shake Up at 'One Life to Live'

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 4th 2010 10:01AM
one_life_to_live_abc_2010_john_natalie
A sure sign that things aren't going well on a soap opera is when they make writing changes. For months, 'One Life to Live' has been spinning out of control. Headwriter Ron Carlivati, who has been excellent in the past, just let the show run off the rails. And the results have been seen in the declining ratings and reason to be concerned about 'OLTL.'

To help get Carlivati out of the woods and back on track, Jean Passanante will join 'One Life to Live' as associate headwriter. (Like Miss America, in the event that Carlivati cannot fulfill his role as headwriter, Passanante will resume his activities...)

Actually, the Emmy-award winning Passanante is currently head writer for 'As the World Turns,' wrapping up the 54-year run of CBS's legendary soap. When her duties in Oakdale have been completed, she'll move to Llanview. In fact, her move to 'OLTL' is familiar, She's going back to a show in which she's had experience. Jean's also put in time on 'All My Children' and 'Another World,' so she knows a thing or two about soap writing.

But the key element is her 'OLTL' experience. She's written for Viki and Clint and Bo and Nora in the past. And that's a good thing because the show needs more of those characters, as well as John and Natalie and Jessica and the whole Cramer crew, and less of the Mitch Laurence rising from the dead with evil intent.

The fans have been turned off to a bunch of current storylines and changes have already been afoot. Scott Clifton has been dismissed as Schuyler, for one. For another, the romance between Oliver and Kyle which got a lot of attention because it was a gay love story is coming to an end. Both actors -- Brett Claywell and Scott Evans -- have been let go.

The dismissal was seen as a rejection of the gay angle. GLAAD's President Jarrett Barrios said in a statement: "While we understand that the close of storylines is a frequent occurrence on daytime dramas, canceling this story just as it gains momentum is a step backward in ABC Daytime's representation of the lives of gay Americans."

Yes, but getting rid of Kyle and Oliver is a step forward for 'OLTL.' No offense to the actors, but their characters were fringe players. Oliver Fish was a uniformed cop with computer skills in the Llanview P.D., used as a go-fer to John and Bo. ("Fish, go for that report from the Mayor's office.").

Kyle was a corrupt lab tech at the hospital. Neither role was ever meant to be front and center. And now, with their exit, nobody will miss them. They were unconnected to the main characters. The same could not be true if the gay storyline had involved Rex and Cristian, two characters who are much more ingrained in the fabric of the show.

Still, 'OLTL' can be arresting entertainment. Here's a recent sample of the show, when Fish and Schuyler dealt with saving the baby:





Passanante's rejoining 'OLTL' should, if anything, give Carlivati a chance to refocus and redirect the show. Nothing like a shake up to get the headwriter re-thinking long-term storytelling. And just so you know, Carlivati has done great stuff on 'One Life to Live.' It was just a couple of years ago when the show was humming. It was the best-written soap on the air. In 2008, 'OLTL' was the Daytime Emmy winner for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team, and it deserved it.

'OLTL' needs to use the veteran talent it has. Stories like Viki's sojourn to Paris, Texas, was a terrific. And anything that stokes the battle between Dorian and the Buchanans is pure gold.

The whole thing about soaps is that the viewers have been there for years and years. Soap fans have a connection and an investment in characters they've lived with for ten years or more. Focus on that link and you'll bring back viewers, because the ratings erosion going on now looks to me like people tuning out, not turning on. For the sake of the show's future, it's time to bring back the 'OLTL' fans.

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Tiney

I think they should rbing back jeesup baby farther and find out who the new one is also please please let john know thats his child thats been going on to long

September 04 2011 at 10:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tiney

I LIKE ONE LIVE TO LIFE I BEEN
WATCHING THIS SHOW FOR A LONG THIS KEEP IT ON THE AIR

September 04 2011 at 10:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rhonda

I think the two soaps should stay on ABC. I am wondering if these two shows will air on SoapNet.

July 08 2011 at 12:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Miriam

Does anyone else think they R kiling this show with the singing and dancing?

May 18 2010 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tammy

Another thing... bring back Max, Tina and Cord.

April 25 2010 at 6:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tammy

I think that John should dump Marty. Her character is too old looking for him. He was great with Natalie. There was so much chemistry and drama with them that kept the show interesting. Also, I think that Rex should come out as Bo's son. Maybe it could be that Cassie dropped off her and Bo's child at the hospital and never told anyone? Then it opens the door to bring Cassie back on the show. Another thing... the whole story line with Jessica sucks. I prefer her as an adult. Have it written that she falls on her head and comes back to 2010 for goodness sake! And once and for all bring back the evil Todd! Geez people this one is annoying. With the old Marty, we should have the old Todd. It makes sense to me. I am pissed that the show got rid of the gay story line. Get rid of the high school crap and leave the gays in! Heat up the Vicki and Dorian thing and have Clint and Dorian heat things up again. hehe.

April 25 2010 at 6:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jazmine

Now that would be an interesting story!

April 16 2010 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jazmine

Those of you who don't want the old Todd back must not know what an outstanding actor Roger Howarth is! Roger's Todd has extremely more chemistry with Blair, Tea, and anyone he comes in contact with. If this show ever was able to persuede Roger to come back the ratings would soar through the roof! It was Roger's choice to leave and he may not ever want anything to do with this show, but I can only dream that he would come back :)! Roger's Todd takes the character into so many dimensions, while Trevor only has one layer and that is to be a jerk. Roger made Todd a funny jerk and would make you have to laugh. Roger made you feel how much pain Todd was in and why he was the way he was - Trevor's Todd has never really made me want to love and hate him at the same time - just hate him. That's why the ratings are not as good because people know exactly what to expect from Trevor, as with Roger it could go a ton of ways - he could be loving, kind, hateful, remorseful, devious, funny, and serious - and that is what I want to see from an actor and what will bring this show to the top again! As for the other actors, they are ok. Back when Roger was on I only tuned in to see him and everyone else took a backseat - It needs to go back to that! Really now Trevor's Todd is in the backseat of who I tune in to see and will stay there until Roger returns!

April 16 2010 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jazmine's comment
Jazmine

I want to also add that Marty is boring too because this Todd has no chemistry with her at all! Bring back Roger and they will sizzle because it was those 2 were the original and they know how to push each other's buttons! This Todd does not cut it with his scene's with Marty!

April 16 2010 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Denise

Nobody will miss Kyle and Oliver? The reaction to the axing of Kish has been overwhelmingly negative everywhere I've read about it.

Kish was the reason I came back to OLTL after a recommendation by a friend, and the main reason I continued watching. Kish was a beautiful and inspiring love story, something too often lacking on daytime, especially ABC which seems to love its mobsters, hitmen, and rapists. I am a heterosexual, married woman in the coveted demographic and will stop watching OLTL on April 16th and return to As The World Turns.

April 09 2010 at 7:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
EricMontreal22

This article is filled with mis-information and some ridiculous opinion. Passanante is the queen of adding "fringe characters" to a soap--her period at AMC is arguably the show's worst ever involving offensive and cartoony stories, all by new unrelated characters, like "Dogboy" (played by a Black actor no less), a group of new teens randomly doing Exctasy in the woods and giggling, libidizone a drug that makes a whole boat horny, and the show being briefly overun with ghost characters who actually managed to save some older characters. It was so bad that she actually broke her contract and fled to ATWT when she was hired as an assistant.

Her time at OLTL (which was insanely brief) was also a time of huge ratings falls and stories that went nowhere. There is nothing good about this woman returning to Llanview--despite the epic problems I have with the show right now.

April 07 2010 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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