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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
Brian

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

Brian
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
Rose Marie

Haha Brian! I’m with you!

Jen Snelling
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
Rose Marie

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

Jason
Jason

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

david
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
Rose Marie

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

shahla
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
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 could watch that in the evenings more often. Young is definitely on to something. Love to come work with you on this 🙂

Rose Marie
Rose Marie

Umm…RJ. Brothers and Sisters IS a soap!

gail calhoun
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
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
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 10pm (or whenever it comes on because I avoid local news like the plague if I can help it) especially when you have a variety of ways to get it?

Daytime soaps are a dead formula, but the genre isn’t dead. I’d say maneuver the times you air them and you’ll find the ratings increase, by how much I do not know, but it can’t hurt to try right?

All My Children

Kelly Ripa Shares Her Grief and Remembrances of John Callahan on ‘Live with Kelly and Ryan’

There was always something special about the wonderful actors and the cast pictured here from ABC’s All My Children.  After all, this is where Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley) met her husband, Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo) and where Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria) met her ex-husband John Callahan (Ex-Edmund).

Then, over this past weekend this family picture from Pine Valley was forever changed, when the soap world was rocked by the news that John Callahan passed away at only 66/

Heartbreaking remembrances poured in on social media …. and none more so than from Eva LaRue, who also shares a daughter with John, named Kaya.  Eva and Kaya rushed to John’s bedside where he has been put on life-support following a reported massive stroke.

Now on Monday’s episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, which is being done remotely from the hosts individual hosts due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kelly Ripa shared her grief over the loss of her dear friend John Callahan with Ryan.

Kelly said “I had a really a bad weekend this weekend.  A very dear friend of mine for many, many years, almost 30 years, passed away over the weekend. He was a great actor, a really good friend. One of the funniest people I’ve ever met. He was the ex-husband of my first-born son’s godmother, Eva LaRue. His name was John Callahan. He was 66 years old—way too young to be taken from us.”

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Ripa went on to to tell her co-host: “A gentleman of, I mean, Ryan, you two would have loved each other. He would say the funniest things and we were all going through our brains about all of the funny, like the funny ‘Callahan-isms’ over the years. He was just one of these guys and you know and he just died way too soon. His daughter and my daughter are good friends, they’re the same age and I just want everyone to know, Eva and Kaya, that we are thinking of you and we are just so sad and so devastated. So, I apologize in advance if I seem out of it. I really actually am, I’m terribly out of it. You know, forgive me for it.”

Watch Kelly discuss the death of John Callahan with Ryan Seacrest below.  Then share your thoughts on what Ripa had to share and more on the loss of John Callahan via the comment section.

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All My Children

Soap Vet and All My Children Alum John Callahan Dead At 66

Absolutely heartbreaking news this Saturday afternoon.  John Callahan, best known to soap fans for his role as Edmund Grey on All My Children has passed away after suffering a massive stroke.  The stroke happened on Friday, March 27th when paramedics responded to a call at his home in Palm Desert, California. He was 66-years-old.

According to reports, Callahan was rushed to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA, where he was put on life support.  John’s daughter Kaya, and his former wife, and AMC co-star Eva LaRue (Ex-Maria) rushed to the hospital to be by his side from Los Angeles.  John died Saturday morning.

Photo: JPI

In a statement, Eva La Rue shared: “We are extremely saddened and distraught over the loss of John. He was my great friend, co-parent and amazing father to Kaya. The absence of his bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. Words cannot express the shock and devastation we are feeling at this time. The Yankees just lost one of their greatest fans.” 

John played Edmund on All My Children from 1992-2005.  He also appeared throughout his soap career on: Santa Barbara, Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bay and primetime’s Falcon Crest and Desperate Housewives; in addition to many more television appearances.

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Michael Fairman TV will continue to follow this breaking story as remembrances are shared by John’s former co-stars throughout the day and night.

Below is LaRue’s touching tribute to John  via Instagram:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

May Flights of Angels Wing You to Your Rest my Dear Friend. Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. We are devastated-My great friend, co parent partner, and loving father to Kaya. That big belly laugh, bear hugs, bad puns, ability to harmonize to any song, great kitchen table singing-fests, and two steppin bad ass! “Johnny Numbers”, my All My Children soap stud, the great time keeper, Beatles fanatic ( I wish to God we could go back to “Yesterday”)… Kaya and I are beyond broken hearted, so stunned, sorry that my thoughts are a mess. You gave the best most beautifully written tributes, and I am at a complete loss for words right now for you. I hope Heaven has baseball and that your team always wins! The Yankees has just lost their biggest Fan. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

A post shared by Eva LaRue (@evalarue) on

Please share your condolences with Kaya and Eva and the Callahan family below, and let us know your thoughts on this heartbreaking loss on the death of John Callahan via the comment section.

 

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All My Children

Former All My Children Stars, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos Donate 1 Million Dollars To Coronavirus Relief Efforts

We knew them when, and over the years, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos have become households names since their humble beginnings as Hayley and Mateo Santos on ABC’s All My Children.

Now the co-host of Live with Kelly and Ryan along with her real-life hubby, and Riverdale star are swinging into action to help those in need affected by COVID-19.

According to PEOPLE: “The couple have donated $1 million to aid in relief efforts amid the ongoing pandemic.”

Kelly and Mark’s contribution will be allocated in part to the New York Governor’s Office for the purchase of urgently needed ventilators and additionally towards WIN, an organization running 11 women’s shelters across New York City.

New York has been one of the U.S. states hardest hit by Coronavirus, which as of Thursday had reported 4,152 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 29 deaths.

Many celebrities and pro athletes are jumping into action, making donations and helping others including” Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Ciara and Russell Wilson, JJ Watt, Kristen Bell and this weekend Rosie O’Donnell with her live-stream talk show for the Actors Fund.

What do you think of the good will shown by Kelly and Mark? Comment below.

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