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As The World Turns

ATI's Jim Romanovich on ATWT's Cancellation and Daytime Emmys!

newatwtlogo2-croppedAssociated Television International’s President Jim Romanovich weighed in today on As the World Turns cancellation, the state of the soap genre and moving ahead with the option for producing The Daytime Emmys.

“A few weeks ago I made the announcement that ATI would be picking up our option to produce the next Daytime Emmys which means that we have agreed to enter negotiations.  I stated how well the soaps have rebounded through 2009 and I still believe that.

Then came the shocker that As the World Turns was cancelled.  Yes, I too was shocked although I should have known better since I get all the numbers and inside news. I actually bought into the rumors flying left and right that ATWT’s ratings were so good that CBS was going to offer another contract.  The reality was only partially true.  The soap’s ratings were up and creatively they seemed to have hit a stride.  But there was never going to be a contract.  Like Guiding Light before it, the die was cast.”

“Many of you saw the Les Moonves interview about soaps “having their day”.  I think that is true for the P&G soaps especially since they are the lowest rated and are not owned by the network. The Bell soaps are another story, but not without their problems.  We just saw two very public displays in dissension with The Young and the Restless recently with Sony gathering the troops to brace them for additional cuts and, of course, the Eric Braeden salary dispute. Being #1 is not enough.  Being profitable and relatively pain free, however, is.  Ratings wise, Let’s Make a Deal has done better in households, but relatively flat in the demo-which means about the same as GL.  The one big difference is the “pain-free” aspect.  Contracts, egos, sets, writers, residuals, etc.  If networks can get the same bang for less bucks and less hassle, they’ll do it. Let’s Make a Deal,  I believe, also has a Vegas hotel tied into it which either pays to have the show there or provides a venue in exchange for promotion which is as good as money, plus the promotional consideration of the prizes adds tremendous value.

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And the ABC soaps?  ABC owns them.  Big difference.

The networks have no emotional investment in anything they broadcast.  None. They’re not like you. If it sells, it stays on, if it tanks, it’s gone.  The goal is to create wealth and if they could do that with a test-pattern, they would.

We are still committed to producing The Daytime Emmys next year pending negotiations this week with all involved.  But everything is set on our part.  We know all we need to know as far as where and when.  With the cancellation next June of As The World Turns, we are now thinking about doing something special for them. The extent of that partially depends on As The Worlds Turns itself if they all want to attend the Emmys.  Costs P&G money.  We have an All My Children 40th anniversary tribute planned to coincide with their move to Los Angeles which is what we decided to do even before this past Emmys aired.

And while we’re discussing tributes…In my long discussions with Michael Fairman (who did an outstanding job on the Guiding Light tribute), there are some things that are just beyond our control.  His and mine.  You saw that four minute Guiding Light tribute he posted.  That’s the one we wanted but we were outvoted by those with greater veto power. It had nothing to do with allotment of time in the show. But we did well by having Betty White introduce it.  I made sure Michael’s cut was seen by all.

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Final Season of 'EastSiders' Starring Kit Williamson and Van Hansis Gets Premiere Date on Netflix

Brad Bell’s speech being cut off at the end was a pure network choice. Bad choice, in my opinion, but theirs nonetheless.  I spent the next month tracking down that footage and presented it to Brad so all could see.  The Bold and The Beautiful actually told me that because it didn’t air, it created more of a PR buzz for them.  Maybe so, but it should have aired.  But networks aren’t emotionally invested, remember?

My reason for now talking about this is because I do care about the fans that make this whole ball of wax known as The Daytime Emmys happen and losing yet another show puts a very grim reality on things.  But they should also know, it’s not all black or white.  There is no evil scientist looking to wreak havoc on the viewer.  In relation to the 2009 Daytime Emmys, key decisions are made by higher powers in which I have zero control at times.  But when that happens, I do everything I can to make that available to you in some way so you miss nothing.  Hopefully, I won’t have that issue next year if we go forward.  But history tells me I will.  And when it does, know that I’m behind the scenes doing everything I can.”

As The World Turns

Final Season of ‘EastSiders’ Starring Kit Williamson and Van Hansis Gets Premiere Date on Netflix

The fourth and final season of the much heralded LGBTQ series, EastSiders now has a premiere date of December 1st on Netflix, and fans of the show will see how things will play out for the Silver Lake duo of Cal  and Thom, who have gone through quite a lot in their relationship over the last three seasons.

EastSiders stars series creator, Kit Williamson (Cal) along with As the World Turns favorite, Van Hansis (Thom).  The last six-episodes that comprise season four will tackle questions such as… what does commitment really look like in a long-term relationship? And what unique challenges does a “gay marriage” present?

In story, Cal and Thom are back home in Los Angeles following season three’s cross-country road trip.  The guys are still trying to figure out if they are just best friends with benefits, or more, or less, than that.

Elsewhere, Douglas (Willam Belli) and Quincy (Stephen Guarino) are engaged to be married, but with very different ideas about what a gay wedding should be. Hillary (Brianna Brown) and Ian (John Halbach) are cohabiting peacefully; and Jeremy (Matthew McKelligon) and Derrick (Leith M. Burke) have taken a huge step in their relationship by fostering a child.

Deadline broke the news of the premiere date and the many special guest stars from primetime and more to look forward to this season.

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Will you be watching the final season of EastSiders? If you follow the series, how do you hope the relationship between Cal and Thom resolves itself? Do they stay together, or move on from each other once and for all? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

Emmy Winner and Noted Soap Opera Head Writer; Hogan Sheffer Passes Away At 61

Over the last several hours, reports have broke that one of daytime’s most notable scribes has died.  Hogan Sheffer, who was head writer at As the World Turns, Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless has passed away at the age of 61.

Soap Hub, first reported the news via multiple sources, however, many writers who worked with Hogan during his tenure on the soaps have taken to social media to share their condolences and their grief and remembrances.

Sheffer’s appearance on the soap scene was unexpected, especially in a genre where it is often rare for new blood to take the reins at the head writer position.  Proctor & Gamble had decided to bring in Hogan after his work as the Director of Screenplay Development for DreamWorks, not because of his writing credits for a previous network soap.  He was given trial deal as a breakdown writer for the CBS soap and 10-weeks in became the beloved town of Oakdale’s new head writer.

Hogan and his then writing team were able to turn the classic, As the World Turns around.  The show went up in the ratings and during his time with the series ‘World Turn’s’ won two Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, and he and the writing team picked up four Emmy victories all through 2000-2004.

Photo: JPI

Next, Sheffer landed in Salem as head writer of Days of our Lives along with Meg Kelly from 2006 through to the beginning of 2008.   He would later join The Young and the Restless and team up with then head writers: Maria Arena Bell and Scott Hamner, and eventually stay with the show till 2012.  During Sheffer’s time in Genoa City, Y&R also won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in 2011.

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On Sunday, former WWE and daytime writer Tom Casiello, who was extremely close with Sheffer…  and who shared how Hogan gave him his start at writing in daytime, took to his Facebook page to pay tribute to a man who had such an impact on his life and many others.  It is worth the read here. 

Y&R writer, Sara Bibel tweeted: “Hogan Sheffer was a gamechanger for ATWT and daytime. Everyone I know who worked with him adored him. RIP”

And, iconic ATWT star, Martha Byrne (Ex-Lily) tweeted on Sheffer’s passing: “To say he was one of a kind would be a tremendous understatement. Our years at ATWT with Hogan at the helm were a rebirth for our beautiful show. Loved his writers, actors,crew. Blessed to have him on the first floor in Brooklyn ready to listen. Talented. Funny. Generous. RIP”

Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) also took to Twitter upon learning of the passing of Sheffer sharing: “I loved him, loved him, loved him… he was so good to me. Thank you for everything, Hogan. You were so loved. Especially, by me… Rest in peace…”

Michael Fairman TV will continue to bring you updates as the soap world mourns the loss of a creative force in our genre.  Share your condolences and thoughts on the death of Hogan Sheffer via the comment section below.

 

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All My Children

FRIDAY: ATWT’s Larry Bryggman and AMC’s Dorothy Lyman Guest Star On ‘The Blacklist’

Two of the most revered performances ever in the world of daytime drama will be seen tomorrow night on an all-new episode of NBC’s drama series, The Blacklist. (10/9c).

In “The Pawnbrokers”, Daytime Emmy winners, Larry Bryggman (Ex-John Dixon, As the World Turns) and Dorothy Lyman (Ex-Opal Gardner, All My Children) will be seen as a criminal duo!

Bryggman and Lyman play a couple that fronts cash to criminals on the black market. In story, series star, James Spader’s Red acclimates himself to his new digs in federal prison, where he is challenged by an old rival.  Samar (Mozhan Marnò) goes undercover to stop a black market organization that fronts cash to criminals. (Enter Larry and Dorothy!)  And, Liz (Megan Boone) and Jennifer (guest star Fiona Dourif) continue their investigation into Red’s past.

Check out the promo for tomorrow night’s episode below.   Then let us know if you will be checking out Larry and Dorothy and if all of this brings back memories of their amazing performances in Oakdale and in Pine Valley in the comment section below.

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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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