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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
Guest
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

All My Children Alums to Appear in E!’s New Series, ‘Reunion Road Trip’

All My Children is having a bit of a renaissance of late. First with the previously announced primetime series in development, Pine Valley, and now a new series on E! Entertainment Television.

Coming up on the June 10th episode, which kicks-off the new show, Reunion Road Trip, several of your favorites from AMC are part of the first episode.

Look for Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenlee), Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria), Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan), and Jacob Young (Ex-JR) along with Alicia Minshew (Ex- Debbi Morgan (Ex-Angie), Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), and Darnell Williams (Ex-Jesse), to appear.

According to EW.com, who broke the news, viewers can look for Budig, LaRue, Mathison, Young, to come together at an exclusive Hollywood mansion to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary where they get some surprise visitors in the form of Minshew, Morgan, Ripa, and Williams.

Reunion Road Trip airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT with other episodes to feature the former casts of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, A Different World and Scrubs.

So, looking forward to seeing the Pine Valley crew on Reunion Road Trip? Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Alum Finn Wittrock To Headline ‘Green Lantern’

From Pine Valley to the DC Universe! Now comes word that former All My Children star, Finn Wittrock (Ex-Damon Miller) will take on the role of Guy Gardner/Green Latern on the upcoming HBO Max series, Green Lantern from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Brothers Television.

According to Deadline who dropped the casting news, Wittrock’s Guy Gardner/Green Lantern is “a hulking mass of masculinity, and, as rendered in the comics, an embodiment of 1980s hyper-patriotism. And yet, Guy is somehow likable.”

In the premise of the series, Green Lantern reinvents the classic DC property through a story spanning decades and galaxies, beginning on Earth in 1941 with the very first Green Lantern, secretly gay FBI agent Alan Scott, and 1984, with cocky alpha male Guy Gardner (Wittrock) and half-alien Bree Jarta. They’ll be joined by a multitude of other Lanterns — from comic book favorites to never-before-seen heroes.”

Previously, Finn received Emmy nominations for his work on American Horror Story: Freak Show and for Versace: American Crime Story.

So what do you think of Finn’s new role? Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Alum Cornelius Smith Jr. Joins the Cast of Apple TV+ Limited Series, ‘Five Days At Memorial’

Daytime fans remember him fondly as the son of Jesse (Darnell Williams) and Angie Hubbard (Debbi Morgan), Frankie, on All My Children.  And now, actor Cornelius Smith Jr., is set to join a major limited series based on the acclaimed nonfiction book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Sheri Fink, about the the first five days following Hurricane Katrina made landfall entitled Five Days at Memorial.

Written by John Ridley and Carlton Cruse, Smith will play a doctor, (something he is very familiar with playing since Frankie Hubbard was a doctor in Pine Valley!) named Dr. Bryant King, an internist and one of the few doctors of color at the hospital, who finds himself very much in the middle of the crisis.  He will headline the show alongside Vera Farmiga and Adepero Oduye.

Photo: JPI

The series will stream on Apple TV+, and no word yet as to when it will have its debut following its filming.

 

Since his time on All My Children, Smith has appeared on ABC’s Scandal, and had recurring roles on God Friended MeSelf Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker and Manhunt.

Deadline broke the casting news.

So, looking forward to seeing Cornelius back on our screens? Do you remember his work as Dr. Frankie Hubbard on All My Children? Comment below.

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