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

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.

Haha Brian! I’m with you!

“‘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!)

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

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

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.

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

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.

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 🙂

Umm…RJ. Brothers and Sisters IS a soap!

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

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.

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

Susan Lucci Joins the Cast of Jonah Hill’s Movie ‘Outcome’

Look who will be part of the ensemble cast in motion picture and film star Jonah Hill’s new film project! That’s right, none other than Susan Lucci (ex-Erica, All My Children).

According to Deadline, the daytime television icon joins other notables including Laverne Cox and David Spade who have been added to the cast of Outcome. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Matt Bomer (ex-Ben, Guiding Light) and Cameron Diaz.

In Outcome, which is written by, and will be directed by Hill, the dark comedy centers around Reef (played by Reeves), a damaged Hollywood star who must dive into the dark depths of his past to confront his demons and make amends after he is extorted with a mysterious video clip from his past.

Photo: JPI

Soap fans know that following her iconic run as All My Children’s Erica Kane, Susan went on to be featured in Lifetime’s Devious Maids in the role of Genevieve Delatour.  Since her Pine Valley days ended (when AMC was canceled in 2012), Susan has appeared in numerous shows and made numerous appearances.  n December of 2023, Lucci was awarded the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Photo: JPI

Outcome will debut on Apple and is an Apple Studios production. The film marks the latest collaboration for Hill and Apple Original Films, who are also developing a Grateful Dead biopic with Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions, to be directed by Scorsese, with Hill starring in it and as one of the producers of the project, as well.

So, intrigued to see what kind of role Susan plays in Jonah Hill’s new film ‘Outcome’? Comment below.

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All My Children

Jacob Young Shares Production Pic of Cast of His New Film Featuring Joan Collins and Nadia Bjorlin

Last month, during a livestream conversation on the Michael Fairman Channel, while promoting Jason Cook’s film, Four for Fun, and featuring soap notables Jacob Young (ex-AJ, AMC, ex-Lucky, GH, ex-Rick, B&B) and Brytni Sarpy (Y&R), Young revealed some intel on his upcoming movie project.

Jacob shared that he was set to direct, produce and star in a Agatha Christie-like murder mystery feature film, Murder Between Friends shooting in Prague.

The actor/director expressed, “I’m flying at the end of the March to Prague to direct, produce and star in a film with Joan Collins (ex-Dynasty). Nadia Bjorlin (ex-Chloe, Days of our Lives) is in it, and Toby Alexander Smith from Eastenders (ex-Gray Atkins). Plus, a couple of my Broadway friends and a very well known Czech actress (Hana Vagnerova). It’s very ‘Knives Out’ without having a hundred million dollars to shoot it, but still will be a lovely film nonetheless.”

Photos: JPI

Young is currently shooting the film’s principal photography abroad through April 17th.

Over the weekend, Jacob took to his Instagram to share a photo with the cast of the film where pictured is former Dynasty star, Joan Collins (ex-Alexis) and former Days of our Lives star, Nadia Bjorlin (ex-Chloe). In addition, former All My Children star, Trent Garrett (ex-Asher) is seen in director-mode kneeling.

Trent and Jacob are both co-directors of Murder Between Friends Joan Collins shared the pic on her Instagram citing, “This was the #secret I posted about several weeks ago!”

So, looking forward to seeing Jacob’s film when it is released with Joan, Nadia, and company? Let us know in the comment section.

 

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A post shared by Jacob Young (@jacob_w_young)

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All My Children

Barbara Rush, ‘All My Children’ and ‘Peyton Place’ Actress, Dies at 97

Veteran Hollywood actress Barbara Rush, known to soap opera fans for her recurring roles on All My Children as Nola Orsini, and on Peyton Place where she played Marsha Russell, died at 97 on Sunday, March 31st.

Her passing was confirmed by Rush’s daughter, Fox News Channel senior correspondent Claudia Cowan. In a statement, Claudia shared, “My wonderful mother passed away peacefully at 5:28 this evening. I was with her this morning and know she was waiting for me to return home safely to transition. It’s fitting she chose to leave on Easter as it was one of her favorite holidays and now, of course, Easter will have a deeper significance for me and my family.”

Barbara had an extensive career in films and television that included roles in: It Came From Outer Space, The Goldbergs, 7th Heaven,  The Young Philadelphians, Robin and the 7 Hoods, The Young Lions, Batman (TV series ), The Bionic Woman, Fantasy Island, Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote and so many others.

Photo: NBC

From 1968 to 1969, she starred in 75 episodes on Peyton Place.  In 1980, Rush also appeared in NBC’s primetime soap opera, Flamingo Road taking on the role of Eudora Weldon, who’s adoptive daughter was played by Morgan Fairchild.

Then, in 1992, she was cast as All My Children’s Nola Orsini. In the storyline, Tad (Michael E. Knight) had amnesia and washed ashore from a river and wides up in California. He gets a job at Orsini Vineyards, where the owner, Nola Orsini (Rush), says that he is the spitting image of her missing son, Ted Orsini, who was kidnapped as a child, and insists Tad is him. She takes him in, trains him to run the vineyards, and makes him her heir, completely convinced he is her lost son, and the story unspooled from there.

Rush is survived by her two children the aforementioned Claudia Cowan, and  Christopher Hunter.

Share your condolences for and remembrances of Barbara Rush via the comment section below.

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