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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
Guest
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

Eva LaRue’s Stalker Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison

In a harrowing situation spanning 12 years, a man who threatened former All My Children, Santa Barbara, and Y&R favorite, Eva LaRue (ex-Maria, ex- Margot, ex-Celeste) and her daughter, Kaya was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

James David Rogers, 58, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt for over a decade of threatening letters and phone calls about torture, rape and death to LaRue and her daughter.

Rogers had pleaded guilty in April to two counts of mailing threatening communications, one count of threats by interstate communications and two counts of stalking.  According to court documents, all of this began in March 2007 until Rogers eventually was arrested in November 2019.  At the beginning of his stalking spree, LaRue’s daughter, Kaya was only five-years-old.

According to Deadline, Eva gave a “tearful victim impact statement, telling the judge in L.A. federal court that she has undergone therapy since the harassment began in order to deal with feelings of fear and paranoia.”  She added, “We didn’t know if he would show up on our doorstep. We will think about him for a lifetime. The fear is with me forever.”

Photo: JPI

The judge has ordered Rogers to self surrender on October 12th to begin his sentence at a federal prison in Ohio.

Eva won a Daytime Emmy back in 2020 for her guest star turn on The Young and the Restless, and is best-known to primetime viewers for her role in CSI: Miami.

Share your thoughts on Eva and Kaya’s heartbreaking real-life experience via the comment section below.

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All My Children

Soap Vet, Broadway Star and Artistic Director, Robert Lupone Passes Away at 76

Bob Lupone, the brother of Broadway Icon, Patti Lupone, and who is best-known to soap opera fans as con artist Zach Grayson on All My Children (1984-1985) has died at the age of 76.

The actor, and artistic director of Off-Broadway’s acclaimed MCC Theatre for over 40 years, passed away Saturday, due to complications from his three year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Photo: MCC Theatre

Ironically, Bob was best known on Broadway as Zach in A Chorus Line which landed him a Tony Award nomination in 1976, and he also received a Daytime Emmy nomination for his other role of Zach on All My Children in 1985.  The murder of Zach Grayson was quite the murder mystery and trial; bringing in many suspects to the story.

In addition to All My Children, throughout his soap career, Lupone held roles on: Search for Tomorrow as Tom Bergman, Ryan’s Hope as Chester Wallace, Another World as Neal Cory, Loving as Leonard Brill/Charley Nichols, and Guiding Light as Leo Flynn.  He also appeared in primetime TV roles including: The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and several roles in the Law and Order franchise.

Lupone made his feature film debut in the 1973 musical adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar playing the Apostle James, and two years later got the Broadway role of his lifetime playing Zach in A Chorus Line after convincing creator and director Michael Bennett to let him play the part after the original actor departed the show.

A decade later, LuPone would co-found the Off-Broadway theatre company, MCC Theater, with Bernard Telsey and William Cantler.  MCC was founded as an artists collective designed to offer peer based classes and playwright development and has launched several successful shows that went on to great success.

LuPone is survived by his wife, Virginia; his son, Orlando; sister, Patti; and brother, William.

Below, take a look at the suspects in the Zach Grayson murder case on All My Children, followed by the 1976 performance by Robert and the cast of A Chorus Line on The Tony Awards, and last, a scene as AMC’s Zach around the 6 minute mark in the video.

Now, share your condolences to the Lupone family on Bob’s passing, and your remembrances in the comment section.

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All My Children

Chrishell Stause Wins ‘MTV Movie & TV Award UNSCRIPTED’ For Best Reality Star

Selling Sunset and former soap star, Chrishell Star (Ex-AMC, DAYS, and Y&R) took home the fan voted Best Reality Star at the 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards: UNSCRIPTED that aired Sunday night.

During her acceptance speech, Stause expressed deep appreciated for the positive response she received after making her new romance with Australian singer/rapper G Flip public.

Following thanking those involved in Selling Sunset including her ex Jason Oppenheim, Stause shared: “I knew about this nomination before I had said anything about my sexuality. I’m not trying to get really deep with you guys, but the fact that this was voted on after means so much to me because I wasn’t sure how that was gonna go.”

Stause won the award over Chris Tamburello (The Challenge), Lindsay Hubbard (Summer House), Teresa Guidice (The Real Housewives of New Jersey) and Willow Pill (RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14).

After her win, Chrishell tweeted:I. AM. SO. HONORED!!! Truly thank you to everyone that voted And thank you so much MTV & Netflix”

 

Photo: CStauseIG

During the Selling Sunset reunion special on Netflix, Chrishell confirmed she was in a relationship with G Flip.

Check out Stause’s speech below.

 

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