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BBC reports, "Do US daytime soap operas have a future?"

Courtesy/Getty/ABC

Courtesy/Getty/ABC

Our dwindling American daytime soap opera scene has everyone talking including Britain’s main outlet, the BBC.

In a report and perspective from Peter Bowes in the L.A. bureau, he spoke with among others, Mal Young the producer behind the British soap hits, EastEnders and Coronation Street and Robert Thompson a professor in pop culture at Syracuse University.  Here are some excerpts!

Mal Young is currently in Los Angeles developing a soap opera for primetime US TV, and details that Americans are yearning for more dramas about real life. “One of the shows that I’m developing out here is to tap into that. A British-style soap opera, with real people, real issues, working class blue collar families and not the Dallas and Dynastys and the Desperate Housewives.”  Young believes US viewers would buy into a Coronation Street or EastEnders set in small town America.   “I think they’re ready to go on story-telling journeys in drama and see themselves. We haven’t seen the demise of the soaps. We’ve seen the demise of a certain type of them but as a machine, as a business, a cost model, they’re so effective as long as they’re done with a great heart and they’re relevant to the audience. I think they’re ready to go on story-telling journeys in drama and see themselves.”

Professor Thompson offered up his thoughts on the the fractured daytime landscape: “The future of the daytime-type soap opera is not in the daytime. That ship has sailed and I think they are going to be gone pretty soon. However, I think there is a possibility, especially in the new economics of television that the telenovela model, the five days a week, cheaper budget kind of thing could at some time be tried in this country and work.”

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Brian
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Brian

Ok then, ABC listen up, just move “One Life To Live” to primetime and all will be forgiven.

Brian
Guest
Brian

My comment refers mostly about ITV’s Show “Coronation Street” Britian’s longest running soap program. In the UK, it airs in the evening, not daytime.

Rose Marie
Guest
Rose Marie

Haha Brian! I’m with you!

Jen Snelling
Guest
Jen Snelling

“‘A British-style soap opera, with real people, real issues, working class blue collar families and not the Dallas and Dynastys and the Desperate Housewives.’ Young believes US viewers would buy into a Coronation Street or EastEnders set in small town America. ”

That interesting, and right up Agnes Nixon’s alley! OLTL was developed with a similar concept in the beginning – the contrasts between social classes.

A soaps fan just pointed out the other day that elaborate sets of sprawling mansions aren’t necessary. (But really, I do love Llanfair, La Boulaie and the Buke mansion!)

Rose Marie
Guest
Rose Marie

I am in total agreement with Jen. Plus, this is America, NOT England!

Jason
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Jason

they should just keep them there where they are. Getting rid of them are really stupid.

david
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david

I don’t think Young gets it. A “soap opera” with real people is a reality show. That’s not what I want. She continues, “I think they’re ready to go on story-telling journeys in drama and see themselves.” No, I am not so narcissistic that I want to see myself. Enough with the reality show crap. I want to be entertained, and the perfect model for that is OLTL, not what Young is proposing. And Thompson teaches at the same university from which Frons graduated.

Rose Marie
Guest
Rose Marie

Notice the “telenove
la” stands to make the networks more money!”

shahla
Guest
shahla

yes, we have enough rality in lives these days,bad economy,high price gas,people losing jobs,war,how much people can take? they need some scape and soaps provide that for them. I am sick of talk shows and reality shows,we need our soap daily,so we can battle with realities in our lives.keep them ABC or you go to trash can.

RJ
Guest
RJ

Actually, I agree. I think people want drama, but they want it to be relevant to their lives, what is going on in society, and addressing social issues of the day. Characters need to be warm and emotional. Not overly melodramatic, but they have to drawn you in and make you feel for the characters. That would be interesting to do it at night 5 days a week. I think some people (like myself) would watch it in the evening – if it were decent. For example, I like the show Brothers and Sisters – it is done well. I… Read more »

Rose Marie
Guest
Rose Marie

Umm…RJ. Brothers and Sisters IS a soap!

gail calhoun
Guest
gail calhoun

you know its been on for 40 yrs somebody is watching i’m one of these somebodies..
OLTL is my day time family.

Jeffrey More
Guest
Jeffrey More

I guess i’ll be grieving after OLT goes dark in janurary hard to believe both it and AMC will be gone this makes me wonder which of the remaining soaps will be next to get canceled.. I read a few years back that fox was looking to get in on soap operas but haven’t heard anything since then wouldn’t that be great if fox picked up OLTL and AMC.

Julie
Guest
Julie

Isn’t Britain one of the countries that uses soaps as a lead in to primetime programming? I know my mom watches Y&R here at 4:00 pm (and sometimes 6pm on Soap Net) and the 6pm airing on Soapnet, comes on right before programming that I would watch such as reruns of Chicago Hope on AmericanLife, and stuff my mom likes on CBS. If instead of airing them during the day, what would happen if you aired them instead of the news at 5pm or 6pm? I mean, who cares to see the news at 5pm, 6pm and then again at… Read more »

All My Children

‘ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway’ One-Night Only Streaming Concert With Favorites from AMC, GH and OLTL

Beloved stars from All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital will reunite for ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway, a one-night-only streaming concert benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.   The free streamed event can be viewed on the Broadway Cares website beginning at 8 pm Eastern on Thursday, February 11.

Additionally, the event can be seen on Broadway Cares’ YouTube Channel, ABC-owned television stations’ 32 connected TV apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku and each of the eight stations’ websites around the country, including abc7ny.com and Good Morning America’s Facebook page..

PhotoL ABC

The star-studded lineup will include performances by All My Children’s Bobbie Eakes, Melissa Claire Egan, Vincent Irizarry, Eva La Rue, Susan Lucci, Cameron Mathison, Eden Riegel, Chrishell Stause and Walt Willey, One Life to Live’s Kristen Alderson, BethAnn Fuenmayor, Kathy Brier, Kassie DePaiva, David Gregory, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Catherine Hickland, Mark Lawson, Hillary B. Smith, Jason Tam and Brittany Underwood; and General Hospital’s Bradford Anderson, Brandon Barash and Anthony Geary..

For the February 11 streaming special, viewers can expect to hear a bevy of Broadway classics and jazzy standards.  The streaming event will be directed by John Dietrich, who also directed each of the live stage performances.

Dedicated fans also will have the opportunity for one-on-one virtual meet-and-greets with their favorite soap stars on Saturday, February 13.  Further information on tickets and the lineup of special guests  will be announced later this month.

From 2005-2011, the stars of ABC Daytime took the stage at New York City’s Town Hall one night each year for ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares. The evening featured dynamic production numbers, heartfelt ballads and hilarious skitsNow, 10 years after that final performance, the iconic ABC Daytime actors revisit their performances as they help raise money for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the event began in 2005. it was for a one-night benefit concert to celebrate All My Children’s 35th Anniversary. With overwhelming support from fans, the event continued for six more years and included cast members from One Life to Live, General Hospital and co-hosts of The View. Over its seven-year run, ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares raised an incredible $1.85 million.

“This event is truly one of a kind,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said. “We are so thankful to the stars from ABC Daytime for joining us again as we relive moments from this delightful tradition, while helping to provide lifesaving medication, healthy meals and emergency support to those struggling during this ongoing pandemic.”

“It was such an incredible privilege and joy to join my fellow co-stars to perform in the seven ABC Daytime Salutes concerts to benefit Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS,” said former All My Children star Susan Lucci. “There are no fans like ABC Daytime fans. Their love and support continue to astonish us.  We can’t wait to share these special performances with them and help raise money for so many in need during this difficult time.”

Lucci also shared her excitement on her Instagram account expressing: “We’re getting the fans and cast back together!!! Join us on Thursday, February 11 at 8pm for “ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway”—a fabulous online event revisiting seven years of singing, dancing and plot twists, featuring your favorite ABC Daytime stars. And it’s all to help Broadway Cares support our friends and neighbors who are struggling during this pandemic. Watch the stream at
broadway-cares.org, to join the fun! I hope to see you there!”

So excited to hear about the ABC Daytime Back to Broadway event? Let us know in the comment section, and check out the announcement from The View’s Whoopi Goldberg below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue Reveals COVID-19 Diagnosis

During former All My Children, B&B and GH star, Jacob Young’s podcast, Real Conversations with Jacob Young, he welcomed his good friend and former Pine Valley cast mate, Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria, AMC, and Celeste, Y&R).

At the very top of the episode, LaRue revealed she and her daughter Kaya tested positive for Covid-19.  She shared, “We thought we had dodged a bullet, but sure enough, on New Year’s Eve, we both tested positive.”

“Oddly enough,” she goes on to say, “I really feel like we’ve been so sick of being scared to death of the invisible monster underneath the bed all last year, always looking over our shoulders.”  Eva added, “Nobody knows which one they are. Are they someone who’s going to survive it or succumb to it? Or have residual effects? All we can do is pray for the best.”

 

However, LaRue has been trying alternative methods of helping her with Covid-19 via IV treatments.  “I’ve got this amazing integrative doctor who I’ve been working with for a long time, and I know a lot of people are like, ‘No, we only do Western medicine,’ and that’s fine, I love Western medicine… but integrated medicine and Western medicine have to go hand in hand, in my opinion. Because, I just feel like, we need to open our minds to what is new and what is out there.”   So because of that, Eva has chosen to receive these treatments to hopefully starve off any long term effects of Covid.

In addition, Eva told Young she has hopes for the new primetime All My Children reboot that is in the works:  “I have my fingers crossed that they’ll be doing something with this new Pine Valley show.”   Remember, the Santos family and the Kanes are said to be the epicenter of the revival, so perhaps LaRue will be a guest-star on it, since she is also close friends with two of the EP’s, Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley, AMC) and Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo, AMC)!

Send your well-wishes to Eva and her daughter, Kaya and let us know would you love to see LaRue on the ‘Pine Valley’ primetime reboot?  Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Primetime Reboot “Pine Valley” in the Works at ABC from Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos and Andrew Stearn

Huge news that could bring back a new updated version of daytime’s All My Children to primetime!

ABC is eyeing a revival of Agnes Nixon’s long-running beloved series that ran for 41 years on the network and then saw an online reboot from Prospect Park that lasted only one season.

According to Deadline, former AMC stars Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley) and Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo) will executive produce along with Andrew Stearn and Agnes Nixon’s son, Robert Nixon.

 

The series is currently in the early stages of development, but what has been revealed is: the reboot will be written/executive produced by Leo Richardson (Katy Keene, Star), and it will center on a young journalist with a secret agenda who comes to expose the dark and murderous history of a town named Pine Valley only to become entangled in a feud between the Kane and Santos families. The series explores all the secrets that come with the Kane and Santos family names.

In the new incarnation, Pine Valley, will feature a new generation of characters and some old favorites.  As of this moment, no original cast members have deals, but the plan would be to have them make appearances, plus Ripa and Consuelos could also make a cameo.  Of course, many are already pondering if Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) might actually be a mainstay on the new primetime series; since the Kanes are one of the core families in the reboot.

Photo:ABC

Pine Valley plans to continue the original series’ tradition of tackling difficult social issues of our time and being inclusive, which the show was known for under the iconic Agnes Nixon’s storytelling.

Of note is that Stearn is also a lifelong fan of AMC and has been the driving force behind the reboot.  In fact when he was deciding between ABC Signature and one other studio for an overall deal, he chose ABC Signature because it was going to allow him to pursue his dream of rebooting All My Children.  It was then he started tracking down the rights to the soap.  As soap fans know, the rights to AMC reverted back to ABC after Prospect Park’s online version fell apart.

Later, after meeting with a number of writers to helm Pine Valley, Stearn went with Richardson, who had worked on the British soap EastEnders in his native Britain. Stearn also got on board the estate of Agnes Nixon, with son Robert Nixon joining the project as an executive producer.

So what do you think of “Pine Valley”, the All My Children primetime reboot being in development?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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