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BBC Exec on why British Soaps are succeeding while US Soaps are dropping like flies!

Courtesy/BBC

Courtesy/BBC

There is a fascinating interview out today with John Yorke, BBC’s Controller of Continuing Drama and the man behind shows like EastEnders! Yorke was featured on BBC America’s website with a piece on his thoughts on the troubling US daytime dramas which are being now being continually canceled.  BBC1’s EastEnders, and ITV’1’s Coronation Street and Emmerdale do very well in the ratings in the UK, although the dayparts in which they are air is of help.  Most shows are aired in the early evening, as opposed to US soaps, which are specifically aired in the daytime hours.

In addition, and key here is Yorke’s shows are funded through Britain’s license fee, which is an annual payment that UK households must make for owning any television-receiving equipment, giving his programs an advantage over ad-supported U.S. content. Yorke  admits thought that there is still tremendous pressure to deliver a quality product while keeping costs low in Britain. Here are a a few excerpts from the interview!

Yorke on why US soaps are lagging behind the times on hot topics of the day while British soaps embrace them:  “I strongly believe that diversity is a gift to drama and we champion it endlessly. Every new ethnic, religious, or sexual group allows you the possibility of telling old stories in a new way, and viewers do seem to actually love characters irrespective of their backgrounds. The biggest story on British TV last year was a muslim wedding on EastEnders, in which the groom was unmasked as gay. I’m very proud of that, but it also demonstrates that we shouldn’t be scared of going into new worlds and telling stories in those worlds confidently!”

Yorke on how creativity may be stifled or quality of the product of the British Soaps when publicly funded by the license fees: “Well once upon a time it probably allowed us a certain leeway to re-shoot if things got wrong or buy our way out of trouble. But I’ve been in the industry for 20 years, in the commercial world too — and I’ve never seen a more disciplined system of cost control than we have here. There’s no waste: it’s all on screen, and we recognize that part of our job is to be the cheapest. That doesn’t mean the worst.”

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Susan
Susan

British soaps probably have a beginning, middle and end to their story lines and early evening placement on television..

US soaps have never ending story lines and horrendous timeslots. Most families here and in the UK have to have 2 incomes coming in. The British adjusts their soaps for optimal level of viewership. US executives don’t care about optimal viewership. All US executives care about is the almighty dollar.

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sara
sara

My thought exactly! Soaps in US just like i’m watching theater! I think it makes things look fake not realistic at all. Needed

sara
sara

Oh sorry, something wrong with my lap top

B.J. Reese
B.J. Reese

I think the difference is poor management at the top of daytime TV in the U.S.. Brian Frons being a prime example of someone who knows nothing about entertainment, and apparently business management. The audience is there, it’s just that some people only know how to cut, and copy other channels’ shows they think will make them more money.

I’ve said goodbye to ABC prime time thanks to him, and when the soaps are gone, ABC will be taken off my remote.

Rob
Rob

Europeans in general do not have the same hangups Americans do. Race, religion and sexuality are celebrated and not discriminated against as they are here. Imagine its 2011 and the gay storyline on OLTL was a huge deal, give me a break. Besides, it seems that in England there is actual promotion of these shows ans they care about their viewers and tailor their stories to the demographics. Lets face facts, if the writing and production values are there, the US soaps wouldnt be losing viewers. I was a long time viewer of Guiding Light from the early 80’s until its demise. The last few years were a travesty. Storylines made no sense, they paid no attention to character history and the storylines were all plot driven. The writers and producers slowly killed the show.

All My Children

Tamara Braun and Jennifer Bassey Filming New Motion Picture Comedy ‘Kombucha Cure’

The cast of the new motion picture comedy, Kombucha Cure was revealed by Variety and in it. soap opera favorite and Daytime Emmy winner Tamara Braun (Ex-Kim and Carly, GH, Ava, DAYS, and Reese AMC) is featured in the cast along with Denise Boutte, Jayson Bernard and Jasper Cole in a film directed by Cecilia Choi.

In Kombucha Cure, Braun and Boutte play corporate enemy executives at a health insurance company sent to a small town to investigate what the company views as the unusual and expensive longevity of some of their clients with cancer.

Along with Braun, none other than another former All My Children and GH star Jennifer Bassey  is in the film along with Robert Craighead, Ali Zahiri, Lance Paul, Yorke G. Fryer, and Angie Kim.

The film is currently shooting in Los Angeles through the month of February, and the feature is being executive produced by Jonathan Chia and Tarun Raj.

In addition, Paul and Fryer of Ginger Knight Films are producers along with Bernard and Roberto Rosario, Jr. of J&R Productions.

So excited to hear of Tamara’s latest project? Comment below.

 

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All My Children

FRIDAY: All My Children Icon Susan Lucci To Co-Host ‘The Dr. Oz Show’

Look for La Lucci to chat it up with Dr. Mehmet Oz on his Daytime Emmy-winning Daytime talk show, The Dr, Oz Show, this Friday (check times in your area).

In the Friday Celebrity Super Fan episode featuring Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica, All My Children) look for the full-hour to tackle hot health topics plus how Susan is doing today after her heart emergency that happened in the fall of 2018. . In addition, Dr. Oz looks inside Lucci’s heart with a live scan.

And, Susan will be surprised by her former AMC co-star and on-screen love interest, Walt Willey (Ex-Jack)

For a preview of the episode with Susan click here.

Excited to be part of tomorrow’s on-air episode of Dr. Oz, Lucci posted on her Instagram “DR. OZ! Co-hosting with the brilliant one himself! Tomorrow! He makes me do something I’ve NEVER done before!!”

Will you be checking out Susan on Dr. Oz and a reunion with Walt Willey? Will they talk about the bantered about pontential AMC reboot? Comment below.

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All My Children

Cady McClain Remembers ‘All My Children’ On Its 50th Anniversary Sharing: “I Will Always Be Grateful For the Experience, and For The Lifelong Relationship With All The Fans”

The beloved All My Children first aired on January 5th, 1970 on ABC and ran on the network until it was canceled back in September of 2013.  The next year, the show received a short-lived reboot online via Prospect Park.

One of the actresses to appear in both the network and online version was Daytime Emmy winning actress Cady McClain, who became soap-famous for her role as Dixie Cooney Martin and together with Michael E. Knight, became one of soaps all-time popular duos as Tad and Dixie.

While so many miss All My Children every single day and the indelible characters created by the late, great Agnes Nixon, McClain took to her Instagram on Sunday to relate what the soap opera meant to her in her life.

Here is what Cady shared along with a cover of Soap Opera Digest featuring Michael Knight and herself as Tad and Dixie: “Today I am celebrating the 50th Anniversary of “All My Children”! I started on the show when I had just turned 19 in the fall of 1988. I worked as a contract player thru 1996. I was back in the fall of 1997 again under contract and worked through 2001. That’s roughly 13 years. Then I came back for a year in 2006, then for a couple months in 2012. Then I did the internet version for six weeks and then… the show was done.

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For many years this show and the people on it were like family to me. The makeup artists as much mom’s as my own mom to me at times. And thanks to the work I was able to afford some art school and college as well. I saw many great shows (both American and International) that came to NYC, which opened my eyes to what performance could be. It allowed me to do a lot of Off-Broadway theater and roles in five Indie films while working my day job.

Photo: SOD

I was nominated three times and won my first Emmy. I made some lifelong friends like Michael E. Knight, James Patrick Stewart, Jill Larson, Penny Bergman, Julia Barr, Lonnie Quinn and many others both in front of and behind the scenes. And most importantly, I was able to take care of my wild but wonderful mother. ‘She who drove me nuts’ but impressed on me the importance of having art in ones life. Who read me poems and took me to museums. My child who died but who I so grateful to have known. Thank you ABC and all the producers and writers who supported me and my work. Because of your support my life was richer, broader, more interesting. I will always be grateful for the experience …. and for the lifelong relationship with all the fans! Massive shout out to the daytime fans who continue to support me in my projects. When I meet one of you on the street I am truly grateful for your time and that we got to share some really special moments together. . .”

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So, share your remembrances of All My Children and your thoughts on Cady’s sentiments via the comment section below.

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