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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
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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
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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
Guest
sara

Oh sorry, something wrong with my lap top

B.J. Reese
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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
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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… Read more »

All My Children

All My Children Virtual Reunion On Tap With Jill Larson, James Kiberd, and More

Some more residents of Pine Valley are set for another virtual reunion.

This time circle your calendars for next week on Wednesday, December 2nd.

That is when Matt Borlenghi (Ex-Brian Bodine), William Christian (Ex-Derek Frye), James Kiberd (Ex-Trevor Dillon) and Jill Larson (Ex-Opal Cortlandt) will gather from their respective homes for this conversation with Alan Locher on The Locher Room You Tube channel.

To watch the livestream conversation click here next week beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST / 10 a.m. PST

What were your favorite storylines through the years involving AMC’s Opal, Ttevor, Derek or Brian?  Let us know via the comment section below.

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All My Children

WATCH: Kelly Ripa’s Walk Down Memory Lane with the Stars of All My Children & More On Her 30th Anniversary with Walt Disney Company

Today on Live with Kelly and Ryan, the morning show spotlighted Kelly Ripa’s 30-year career with ABC and the Walt Disney Company; which started back in 1990 when she took Pine Valley and All My Children by storm in the role of troubled teen, Hayley Vaughan.

On this special look-back episode of the syndicated talks show many guests from Kelly’s past and present career paid tribute to her accomplishments and remembered their time working with the talented actress and host.

From All My Children, Susan Lucci took part in the special anniversary and group virtual conversation with Ripa along with Eva LaRue, Walt Willey, Ripa’s husband, Mark Consuelos, Cameron Mathison, Finola Hughes and Dondre T Whitfield   Then, Ripa’s former Hope & Faith co-star Faith Ford was part of the festivities.

There were several special moments throughout the episode and you can watch some of them below.   Kelly made her ABC debut on this date, November 5th, 1990!

So, check out the anniversary celebration for Kelly below, and then share your well-wishes and congrats to her via the comment section.

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All My Children

Kelly Ripa to Celebrate 30 Years at Walt Disney Company With Former Co-Stars of All My Children

Soap fans can say they knew her when, and tomorrow on the Thursday, November 5th episode of the syndicated talker Live with Kelly and Ryan, Kelly Ripa, celebrates her 30th anniversary with the Walt Disney Company and ABC.

Ripa started her journey as Hayley Vaughan on All My Children, a role she made her debut with back in 1990.

Joining Kelly for her anniversary with the company and network are former AMC castmates: Finola Hughes (ex-Alex/Anna), Eva La Rue (ex-Maria), Susan Lucci (ex-Erica), Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan), Dondré T. Whitfield (ex-Terrence) and Walt Willey (ex-Jackson).

Kelly stayed with All My Children until 2002, and along the way met her husband, Mark Consuelos who played Mateo on the show.

In 2001, Ripa replaced Kathie Lee Gifford as co-host of what then became Live with Regis and Kelly.  She also appeared on the sitcom Hope & Faith with Faith Ford from 2003-2006.  Ford will also participate in tomorrow’s special episode.

Check local listings in your area to watch Ripa’s anniversary celebration.

Share your favorite moment of Kelly as Pine Valley’s Hayley, or any other moment you loved in her television career via the comment section below.

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