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Soap Smarts: How Daytime Dramas Are Using Ingenuity To Get Back Into Production During COVID-19

Daytime dramas seldom get the credit they deserve, and now they should be getting further credit for being the first back into production as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, and trying to implement new ways to keep their trademarks love scenes, intimate moments and two-person scenes somehow looking in tact; even though it will be far from how it was done in the past.

In the story from the Associated Press The Bold and the Beautiful EP, and head writer, Brad Bell – who’s soap was the first one back into the studio – commented on how the show is utilizing mannequins, or real-life significant others to help pull off close contact love scenes and how it is rather groundbreaking. “We feel almost like television pioneers all these years later because we’re the first ones out, blazing new ways of producing the shows with the current safety standards, and we’re getting the job done. It’s very exciting.”

When B&B scripts written pre-coronavirus were reviewed in preparation for shooting during the pandemic now, originally all the cinches and smooches were cut. But Bell found a solution whereby a remote actor recites lines as their on-camera scene partner responds in a “low, intimate voice” and engages in “beautiful, yearning eye contact” with an off-camera doll.

As far as the soapy embrace or lip-lock, B&B cast member Katrina Bowden (Flo) has had her husband and musician Ben Jorgensen stand in for her on-screen love interest, Darin Brooks (Wyatt) since returning to taping new episodes.

Photo: JPI

Days of our Lives EP Ken Corday noted to AP:  The “learning curve” is steep. Before the pandemic, “we were producing eight, one-hour episodes a week. That’s basically 40 or 50 scenes a day.  That’s going to be basically impossible to reopen, so to speak, at that pace. We’re going to have to be more careful. So will there be five shows a week, or more? Yet to be determined.  It will certainly cost more.”

B&B and now Y&R which heads back into production next week, and the others soaps, will be using the company called Reel Health, which launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to serve the entertainment industry, and hires medically trained workers to monitor sets and enforce protocols developed by a company epidemiologist and in accordance with industry and government standards,

Alicia Rodis, a veteran intimacy coordinator who helped the actors guild develop guidelines for taping scenes of romance and simulated sex. shared: “Finding ways to put romance on the screen is inevitable and necessary.  At the end of the day, intimacy isn’t going anywhere. Physical intimacy is a part of the human experience. And we’re going to have to find a way to be able to continue to tell these stories, even in extraordinary circumstances.”

So, what do you think of how soaps are tackling taping episodes in the new normal to give their fans a sense of all that they love from their favorite daytime dramas during COVID-19? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

General Hospital Shifts Production Restart Date

On Friday, ABC’s daytime drama, General Hospital has now determined to push back their production restart date given the escalating number of cases of the coronavirus as the pandemic has worsened in Los Angles County.

According to Deadline: “GH is now targeting the week of July 20 to resume taping. The situation remains fluid as new infections have been soaring in Los Angeles.”

General Hospital was previously eyeing a return to production this coming Monday on July 13th, before the COVID-19 outbreak saw a spike in numbers.

While GH is pushing itself back another week, The Young and the Restless is at this moment preparing to start taping new episodes beginning on Tuesday, July 14th.

B&B is already back in production and Days of our Lives is now targeting a September 1st restart.

So, glad that GH is holding off a little bit longer to ensure safety first for all involved from cast, and crew? Comment below.

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Previews

Baldwin-Fisher Clan Featured In Theme Week Of Encore Episodes of Y&R

Oh Brother! … and Mother!  Next week look for CBS’ The Young and the Restless to features just some of the ‘Best-Of” moments of the highly dysfunctional Baldwin-Fisher family.

That’s when the soap opera will air encore presentations for its next theme week beginning this coming Monday, July 13th through Friday, July 17th.

Photo: JPI

Y&R has reached back into their vault for episodes spanning from 2003 – 2016 for these upcoming rebroadcasts.

That means that viewers will get to see just what makes: Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin), Greg Rikaart (Kevin Fisher), Judith Chapman (Gloria) and the likes of Emily O’Brien (Ex-Jana, now Gwen, Days) Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) and Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren), such an amazing group of performers who scene after scene, storyline after storyline, played and play so well with each other.

Check out what to watch for on Y&R next week below:

Monday, July 13 – (OAD: 11/26/03)

Michael (Christian Le Blanc) learns about Kevin’s (Greg Rikaart) latest scheme, Lily (Christel Khalil) asks Drucilla (Victoria Rowell) and Neil (Kristoff St. John) for forgiveness, and Victor (Eric Braeden) uncovers Nick’s (Joshua Morrow) deception.

Tuesday, July 14 – (OAD: 3/31/05)

Gloria (Judith Chapman) tells John (Jerry Douglas) the truth about Michael (Christian Le Blanc) and Kevin (Greg Rikaart), Jack (Peter Bergman) charms Phyllis (Michelle Stafford), and Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) questions Sharon’s (Sharon Case) parenting skills.

Wednesday, July 15 – (OAD: 8/18/08)

A surprise guest interrupts Kevin (Greg Rikaart) and Jana’s (Emily O’Brien) wedding, Michael (Christian Le Blanc) and Gloria (Judith Chapman) confront their past, and Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson) causes problems for Lily (Christel Khalil) and Cane (Daniel Goddard).

Thursday, July 16 – (OAD: 4/12/06)

Lauren (Tracey Bregman) shares unexpected news with Michael (Christian Le Blanc),  Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) stands her ground with Sharon (Sharon Case) and Gloria (Judith Chapman) and Kevin (Greg Rikaart) cover their tracks.

Friday, July 17 – (OAD: 12/21/16)

Gloria (Judith Chapman) makes a festive return to Genoa City, Kevin (Greg Rikaart) defends his relationship with Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson), and Victor (Eric Braeden) and Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) take matters into their own hands.

So, which Y&R encore episode featuring the Baldwin-Fisher boys and their extended family are you looking forward to  seeing again the most? Do you have a favorite episode or storyline with the family that is not included as well? Comment below.

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Video du Jour

B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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Steve Burton as Jason & Maurice Benard as Sonny

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Airdate: 5-19/20-2020

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