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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

WATCH: All My Children Reunion On Strahan & Sara

On Monday’s episode of ABC’s Strahan & Sara, the show welcomed several stars of the beloved All My Children for a reunion, of sorts. Joining hosts Michael Strahan and Sara Haines were Susan Lucci (Erica), Walt Willey (Jack), Cady McClain (Dixie), Jacob Young (JR) and Jill Larson (Opal).

While it was wonderful to see the stars from Pine Valley again, it was also a painful reminder that this network, ABC, canceled the show, and had put in its place – The Chew, and now Strahan & Sara – since canning the series.   In fact, as you will see on the clips below, many of the crew who work on this talk show were once the crew for All My Children.

During the segment, Susan Lucci was tested to see if she remembered all of Erica Kane’s wedded names.  Later, Walt Willey and Susan re-created the final scene of the ABC version of All My Children between Erica and Jack, where Jack walks out on her.  However, this time, they have Jack changing his mind and coming back to Erica and sealing their relationship with a kiss – a moment of closure that never happened (since the show moved to online via Prospect Park).

In addition, Cady McClain and Jacob Young re-created the infamous Dixie “dying from eating poison pancakes” scene, as JR watches his mother die, only this time she lives.

It’s always great to see these veteran performers, but Strahan & Sara is trying to capture the soap viewers to put eyeballs on their show by bringing in talent from the show that sadly and wrongly went off the air.

Watch the clips below from the All My Children reunion below.  Then, let us know what you thought of it via the comment section below.

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All My Children

Soap Alums On Parade At ABC TCA Winter Press Tour: Photo Gallery

This week at the annual ABC TCA (Television Critics Association) Winter Press Tour, the network introduced members of the media to some of the new shows that will be rolled out in the coming months on both ABC and Freeform.  Many notables, who started on the soaps, are in the casts of some of the more exciting new offerings.

In addition, several soap graduates, who are currently appearing on the network in major primetime series were also in attendance promoting the ABC line-up of programming.

Look no further than the photo gallery below to see: Bryan Craig, Denye Tonzts, Eric Winter, Sam Page, Eva Longoria, Jason George, Rome Flynn, and a host of others as they step out and pose for some photos.

So, are you excited to see GH alums, Bryan Craig (ex-Morgan), in his new role as Javi on Grand Hotel? Hayley Erin (Ex-Kiki) in her new role on Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists?  Check out the gallery, and let us know via the comment section.

 

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All My Children

All My Children Reunion Coming Up On ABC’s Strahan & Sara

Some of your all-time favorites from Pine Valley are getting together to appear on Good Morning America’s re-branded Strahan & Sara ,formerly known as GMA Day.

Make sure to catch the show next Monday, February 11th when hosts Michael Strahan and Sara Haines welcome Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica), Jacob Young (Ex-JR), Cady McClain (Ex-Dixie), Walt Willey (Ex-Jack),and Jill Larson (Ex-Opal).  And, you never know who else might pop up and join this group.

Strahan and Sara airs on ABC at 1PMEST/12PMCST weekdays.

Courtesy/ABC

Are you missing Pine Valley? Here’s a chance to see some of these enduring stars together again.  Most recently, Home & Family back in February of 201,7 held an on-screen reunion for many notables from the series following the passing of its legendary creator, Agnes Nixon.

Will you be checking out Strahan & Sara next week for the segment? Let us know via the comment section below.

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