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September 4, 2015


Looking back at the soaps in 2009

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 31st 2009 10:05AM
guiding_light_cbsI'm not going to go into the best and worst things that happened in the world of soaps in 2009, but I have do some thoughts I'd like to share. So before we drop the ball and turn the calendar to 2010, a few highs -- and lows -- from daytime this past year.

1. Disappointing daytime. How could any soap fan not be upset about the fate of Guiding Light and As the World Turns in 2009? Guiding Light departed daytime after 72 years, going out not with a bang, but definitely a whisper. The show was a shadow of its former self, relegated to on-the-fly shooting with camcorders and lights that were likely bought at Home Depot. CBS then made the pain of GL's exit more painful but announcing that As the World Turns would be ending in 2010.

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Is There Still a Future for Soap Operas?

by Michael Maloney, posted Dec 9th 2009 7:10PM
As the World TurnsWith the immortal words "Good morning, dear," actress Helen Wagner (Nancy Hughes) opened the CBS soap opera 'As the World Turns' on April 2, 1956. Alas, in light of the show's cancellation on Dec. 8, longtime soap fans are wondering if they'll be saying, "Good-bye, dear," to the beloved daytime genre entirely.

The sad reality is that viewers have bid farewell to too many soaps recently. In addition to 'ATWT''s cancellation, 'Guiding Light' ended its 72-year run on Sept. 18; ratings for ABC stalwart 'General Hospital' hit record lows this summer. Are these struggles an indication that the heyday of soaps is over? These days, with more women in the workplace, there are fewer stay-at-home moms who are able to watch soaps in the daytime -- what effect, if any, has that had on soap opera viewership?

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'As the World Turns' Canceled

by Michael Maloney, posted Dec 8th 2009 1:19PM
As the World TurnsSoap fans just got an early lump of coal in their stockings, as CBS has canceled TV's longest-running sudser 'As the World Turns.'

The beloved American icon will air its final broadcast in September 2010.

"It is extremely difficult to say good-bye to a long-running series that's been close to our hearts for so long," said Barbara Bloom, Senior Vice President, Daytime Programming in a statement released by CBS. "The almanacs will show 'As the World Turns' as a pioneer of the format, a hallmark for quality with its numerous Emmys, the launch pad for many television and film stars and a daytime ratings powerhouse for parts of three decades."

The show has been averaging 2.5 million viewers this year, according to CBS.

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Good news, bad news for CBS soaps

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 7th 2009 9:02AM

There's good news and bad news on the CBS soap opera front. The good news is that The Young & the Restless has been renewed for two years. The bad news is that As the World Turns could be axed just like Guiding Light.

The Young & the Restless is CBS daytime's top rated soap. It's been number one in the Nielsens for nearly 20 years running. So the renewal wasn't a big surprise. However, the pick-up came with a warning to cut costs, tighten the budget and, basically, don't expect the stars to get big raises anytime soon. In the past year alone, two of the veterans -- Melody Thomas Scott and Jess Walton -- opted to take less money when the show threatened to write them out or recast. Welcome to the brave new world of daytime!

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TV Squad Soap Report: Aleksander the Grant

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 4th 2009 10:55AM
glIt's been a little over a year since Guiding Light bolted from the confines of a New York studio to create a reality based production, a sort of cinema-verite style that brought to life a real New Jersey town to "play" Springfield. The results have been middling at best, but recently GL has lurched forward in a positive way and that can all be explained in two words/one name -- Grant Aleksander. The actor is back as Phillip Spaulding, one of the most important characters in the history of the show.

The last year of GL hasn't only been about the new production. Coinciding with all that physical change which has set more and more scenes outdoors and in "wild" set, the cast has been undergoing massive change. Top line veterans Ricky Paull Goldin, Nicole Forester and Beth Ehlers have all departed, and recently John Driscoll was tragically killed off.

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Days of Our Lives dumps another supercouple

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 4th 2009 5:02PM
Nichols/EvansNBC seems determined to destroy Days of Our Lives, the last soap left on the network. After receiving a truck load of negative press for firing/letting go/dumping Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn, the producers are now dropping the axe on perhaps the most popular romantic couple ever on the show, Patch and Kayla. According to Soap Opera Digest, Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols have been let go.

This may seem like an economic necessity for Days of Our Lives, especially since the soap only has a year-and-a-half to prove to NBC that it's still viable -- that was the length of the pick up it received when it was renewed in 2008 -- but to fans this is just another slap in the face.

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TV Squad Soap Report: SOAPnet's boom and a Mad Men memory

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 1st 2008 8:41AM
logo tv soapDid you see Mad Men recently? As part of Harry's creating a TV division at the Sterling Cooper ad agency, he was made responsible for screening scripts of TV fare so that the content pleased/satisfied/supported the advertisers' desires. Interestingly, it was Joan -- the office manager/head secretary -- who was given the scripts to read and her main focus of As the World Turns.

She became completely engrossed in the 1962 Oakdale story in which a character came to from a coma with a new personality. Her enthusiasm for the soap story convinced the advertisers to back As the World Turns rather than Love of Life, another CBS soap at the time.

Mad Men was historically accurate about As the World Turns. It was the top-rated soap opera for 20 years -- 1958-1978 -- and in 1962 (the year in which Mad Men is currently set), ATWT had increased its share from 47.7 to 53.7 in just a year. It was the soap on the rise and over half all TVs on in daytime were watching this CBS soap.

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TV Squad Soap Report: Only on a soap...

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 10th 2008 2:23PM
TVS logo homeSoap operas are a funny form of television fiction. They have rules all its own, they can tell all kinds of stories and do them in the most unusual ways. Here's a few things I've noticed lately, things that seem to only be possible, on a soap.

Only on a soap...can a medical clinic be conceived, built and stocked in less than a month.
It's true. It happened in Port Charles. On General Hospital, soon after Emily died -- and Nikolas stopped seeing visions of her thanks to a brain tumor -- he decided to dedicate a health clinic in her memory. Since Nikolas is a royalty, some kind of prince, cost was no object. He never met with an architect or designer, never spoke to contractors, never searched for a location and dealt with permits. He did have a fight with the mayor for a couple of shows about opening the clinic after it was already completed. If only all construction projects could be done so easily. Jeff Lewis on Bravo's Flipping Out doesn't even work that fast!

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TV Squad Soap Report: Evil abounds

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 3rd 2008 10:03AM
TVS logo soapIt was big news in the world of daytime when Joseph Mascolo exited Days of Our Lives a few months ago. After all, Mascolo's Stefano Dimera was hailed as the number one villain of all time in daytime by Soap Opera Digest.

His return to Days was supposed to be long-term, but it didn't work out that way. In a surprising, some would say typical, soap way, the phoenix will rise again. Stefano Dimera, in the form of Joseph Mascolo, is coming back to Days of Our Lives. His reign of terror will commence once more -- in early August. Meanwhile, the other big time evil-doer on the show, Victor Kiriakis, will become more moderate and good by comparison.

Evil on the soaps is, well, a necessary evil. You can't have characters who are happy and blissful all the time. You need the selfish, the greedy, the vengeful, all those evil types to keep the stories interesting.


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TV Squad Soap Report: My Emmy nominations for 2009

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 26th 2008 10:22AM
TV Squad Soap Report logoDid you enjoy the Daytime Emmy Awards last week? Were you happy to see grand soap stars like Anthony Geary and Jeanne Cooper honored? I have no complaints with the winners -- and as I mentioned in previous posts, I had predicted some of them correctly. But I do have qualms about so many actors and actresses who weren't even nominated.

A lot of great performances weren't recognized. Therefore, I've decided to recognize a few actors and actresses who should be on the ballot in 2009! That's right, this is a pre-emptive list of six who should be included in next year's Daytime Emmy nominations.


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Soap Operas' Strangest Plot Twists

by AOL TV Staff, posted Jun 18th 2008 2:19PM
Deirdre HallEvil clones, friendly vampires, secret islands and much, much more.

When something's overly dramatic, we call it a soap opera.

And no wonder -- only in daytime serials do we find such plot twists as people we thought were dead being held captive on islands (that's actually happened more than once), characters coming back from heaven, comatose patients astrally projecting themselves.

We're not making any of these up -- these are our favorite crazy, wacko soap opera story lines.

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New (old) headwriters for All My Children & Y&R

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 2nd 2008 8:02AM
AMC/YRThe headwriter carousel is spinning in the world of soaps and two shows have tapped new scribes for their shows. Only they're not new, really, only new to these shows. See, in soaps, everything old is new again when it comes to headwriters. The names are usually the same, just the soaps are different.

First, All My Children has brought in the super-experienced Charles Pratt, Jr. to take over the script duties. He being June 23, but with the lead time for soaps, his stories won't begin unfolding for about six weeks. Still, ABC daytime prez Brian Frons, was singing Chuck's praises in the announcement, saying, "Charles Pratt, Jr. is a master storyteller. His talents in writing today's biggest primetime hits in conjunction with his vast experience with daytime dramas will undoubtedly elevate All My Children stories in new and exciting directions."

Pratt does have extensive experience, including Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, Melrose Place, Santa Barbara, and back in 2002, General Hospital. The guy can spin a yarn and joining All My Children he'll have lots of great characters to explore. He's also coming in just as two major stars have been added to the All My Children cast, Guiding Light transplants Beth Ehlers and Ricky Paull Goldin.

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Cyndi Lauper to sing on As the World Turns

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 1st 2008 8:31PM
Cyndi LauperCount Grammy and Emmy-winner Cyndi Lauper as a fan of As the World Turns' gay couple Noah and Luke. Like the dedicated "Nuke" lovers out there, Cyndi's been anxious for the duo's romance to move more swiftly on the soap. She's decided to do something about it -- and promote her new album at the same time. Cyndi Lauper will appear as herself on the July 3 episode of As the World Turns, sing a couple of songs and subtly let Luke and Noah know that she supports their relationship.

The controversy surrounding Nuke's soap story
-- that their romance is moving too slowly because they're not heterosexual, but homosexual -- has vexed fans. Lauper told Entertainment Weekly, "I think they're young, these guys, and they're sweet. They're taking their time and struggling with the heart issues, which is even more endearing than just being like the straight couples, half-naked and having sex all over the place. The best way to people is through the heart, and that's why I think it's kind of interesting the way they've done it. It's about love.''

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Beth Ehlers bolts Guiding Light for All My Children

by Allison Waldman, posted May 16th 2008 2:23PM
EhlersYou could call it bailing from a sinking ship, assuming you think the current changes on Guiding Light are something like being on the Titanic. On the other hand, it may just be a talented actress spreading her wings to take on a new challenge. However you couch it, Guiding Light star Beth Ehlers is bolting the CBS soap for ABC's All My Children. She'll be assuming the role of Liza Colby Chandler, the part most recently played by Marcy Walker (who played Tangie back on Guiding Light in 1993).

This is the second major exit from GL, and it seems that the bottom line reason for the departures is the bottom line. Cost cutting across the board at the P&G soaps -- GL and As the World Turns -- have squeezed the actors salaries. Martha Byrne and Scott Bryce left ATWT in recent months, reportedly in contract disputes, and Ricky Paull Goldin departed GL last month and was quickly snatched up by All My Children. Just like Ehlers.

And how coincidental that they were a major couple in Springfield. They even won a special Daytime Emmy in 2002 as America's Favorite Couple -- GL's Harley and Gus. Well, now they can spark that same chemistry in Pine Valley. Move over, Erica and Adam and Tad and Joe, you've got company.


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TV Squad Soap Report: The Carlys of my life

by Allison Waldman, posted May 1st 2008 10:04AM
TVS Soap Report logoThere's something about the name Carly, I guess. The four actresses that have caught my attention are now or have played a "Carly" on daytime TV. They are all terrific actresses. They've all brought something dynamic and exciting to their characters, even when they are no longer named Carly. The four ladies in question are Laura Wright, the current Carly Corinthos Jacks on General Hospital, Maura West, Carly Tenney Snyder on As the World Turns, Tamara Braun, Carly #2 on GH and currently Ava Vitali on Days of Our Lives, and Sarah Brown, Carly #1 on GH and presently Claudia Zacchara on GH. Each woman has made a lasting impression on daytime, and they continue to rattle the rafters still.


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