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Creators Meg Kelly and Joseph Craig Share Details On New Online Destination SudsvilleTV.com!

Courtesy/Conklin-Intracom

Courtesy/SudsvilleTV.com

Over the last several years, soap opera fans have witnessed a few attempts at creating a new online destination where they are offered a mix of the old and the new, familiar fan favorites, and exciting new programming all rolled into one go by the wayside.

Now comes exciting news this week that formidable, and talented writer Meg Kelly (formerly co-head writer of Days of our Lives and As the World Turns) and marketing entertainment guru, and Broadway producer Joseph Craig, have formed a very intriguing and exciting partnership together with Conklin-Intracom.  Upcoming digital destination: SudsvilleTV.com.

SudsvilleTV.com is set to offer up an original soap, an original soap opera talk show and game show, and ancillary programming that fits solidly with the demographic of the die-hard, passionate, and fun-loving soap fans.  We caught up with the Meg and Joseph to get some insight, Intel, and to get their thoughts on their hopes, their programming, and what users that come to the Sudsville TV experience might find!

On Wednesday, Sudsville TV.com launched its sign-up page, where fans will be able to have access to more direct detail on the programming, its stars, and the network’s progress.  Here’s what Meg and Joseph shared with On-Air On-Soaps about their new venture!

Meg, fill us in on your original soap, and the concept behind it?

Courtesy/MKelly

MEG:  First, I want to say that I love story, and story structure.  There are all kind of soaps like that, and they are all family-driven dramas, and so I just started from that premise.  We are going to tell this in 40 episodes, with the first season being 10 episodes with a season ending cliff-hanger.  We’re going to have a beginning, middle, and end to the story.  We have some great daytime and nighttime actors who love the scripts, and are very interested in becoming involved and being part of the series, and we will be giving out casting announcements in the near future.  The basic premise is to tell dramatic stories about two families, and have a lot of great plot twists.  We all love characters that we love to watch going through hell, and then coming out ahead.  This story is about two families, who are living in which once was a New England fishing village, now reincarnated as a summer vacation destination.

Joseph, how did you use your marketing and audience expertise to create SudsvilleTV.com?

JOSEPH:  I have used all the information that I gathered from Nielsen, and my own company, and I have used that information for creating the shows for this audience.  Meg created the big soap, which is brilliant, and I created the 16 ancillary shows we are building around it.  The soap opera audience is also a very valuable and often under-appreciated group that we want to deliver great programming to.

What are your plans on how you are going to shoot the soap?  Exteriors and interiors … on a set …?  And where?

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JOSEPH: We are not shooting web-style at all.  It’s being shot like nighttime television.

MEG: We are looking to shoot in the Tri-State area of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

Courtesy/JCraig

What are the plans for the roll-out of the programming on the SudsvilleTV.com platform?

JOSEPH: The ancillary shows are building up to Meg’s soap opera, and just like Netflix and Hulu, we’re programming it that if you would like to tune in on Monday night – two of our shows will be released – one from 8:00-8:30PM, and one from 8:30PM-9PM. However, once it’s on the platform, you can watch it anytime you want, but we are programming Monday through Thursday evenings – two shows – two half hours shows. The soap opera talk show A.M. Sudsville is being released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9am. 

Tell me more about A.M. Sudsville!

JOSEPH: A.M. Sudsville has three hosts, and they are talking about what happened on the latest daytime and primetime soaps, and what the latest positive gossip is, and who wore what where.  They discuss what is coming up on the soaps, show clips, and they will do interviews with soap stars, etc.  It’s that normal mix you would expect from a Kathie Lee and Hoda of The Today Show.  These hosts are not snarky, and their chemistry is through the roof.  It will be produced like every other talk show out there, but with this soap opera bent to it.

Your partnership with Conklin-Intracom  … how did that come about?

Courtesy/Conklin-Intracom

JOSEPH: Sudsville TV is going to be a state of the art platform that is being built right now as we speak.  Conklin-Intracom are awesome partners.  They came to us, and they said, “We’re looking for content,” and it just so happened that at the same time we were looking at building something like this.  The timing could not have been more perfect.

Meg, what about the other shows on the platform?  Will you be writing those as well?

MEG:  I am going to be writing them with a mix of Emmy-winning writers from primetime and daytime. The majority are daytime writers, and it’s a small, but very talented team!

What can you tell me about what kind of shows fans can expect to see?

JOSEPH:  There will be a comedic-reality show, and there is another reality series which has stories that are amazing. There is a soap opera game show called The Amazing Soap Trivia Challenge, which will be hosted by former Guiding Light star Michael O’Leary (Rick), which is a trivia show, and then there is a second game show in a different vein.

What are you looking at as your premiere date?  When do you think realistically, if all goes as planned, the shows might start to live on the platform?  

Courtesy/PGP

MEG:  We are looking to launch with the ancillary programming in late fall.  We want people to sign-up through our website, which goes live today.  We encourage people to come and sign-up.  We will let them know what is going on through previews, promos, updates, and news, as we release names of our actors and writers who are joining the team, and shout-outs from the set as we lead to the launch of the platform.  The fans will not be in the dark, and they will not be guessing.  They will know exactly what is going on.  This is being built out in a very organic way with the fans.  They are a part of this.  We have a facebook page and Twitter (@sudsvilletv) page we launched, as well!  This concept in our head is really a neighborhood, because there are all these daytime fans that go to different places – but we are saying there will be one place with all of these people you love, and all these news sources you are familiar with.  We will be connected with them, and they will be connected with us, and let’s just create this world.  It’s like, “Come in and play,” rather that just putting up content to watch.  We are also trying to create an experience for them, and not only for them to see original content, but for them to participate with it.

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A bit about you two:  Meg, you have been co-head writer for Days of our Lives and As the World Turns working alongside soap scribe and novelist Hogan Sheffer.  What was your takeaway from that?

MEG:  I came away from the whole experience of liking the soap audience, and they are fun, and they are really rewarding to write for.

Courtesy/SudsvilleTV.com

Joseph, are you a fan of the soap genre?  I am sure the fans want to know! (Laughs)

JOSEPH: Such a huge fan!  My grandma used to watch The Young and the Restless, and you had to be quiet when the show came on! (Laughs)  My soap viewing goes way back to the old days of Y&R when Jamie Lyn Bauer (Laurie), Thom Bierdz (Phillip IV), and David Hasselhoff (Snapper) were on the show!  Y&R was my whole thing from start to finish!  That show was so well-plotted.

So, what do you think about the concept of SudsvilleTV.com?  Excited to hear a new soap, new soap talk show, and game show are on the way?  What do you think about Meg and Joseph’s comments, and their plans as the platform heads towards an exciting launch towards the end of 2015?  Share your thoughts below, and make sure to sign-up to get up-to-the-minute updates on the latest from SudsvilleTV.com!

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Lisa Robinsontina sloanLou PiikesWarrenPRodd Recent comment authors
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Lou Piikes
Lou Piikes

i’ll give it a try. I just hope those 10 episodes are longer than 15 minutes. I hope the episodes are at least an hour long. Also, I hope to stream the episodes with googletv.

Lew S
Lew S

Be still my heart!! Love the premise! Could it be that someone finally got it right? I am definitely going to follow their progress.

su0000
su0000

ok-
”’ We are going to tell this in 40 episodes, with the first season being 10 episodes with a season ending cliff-hanger.”’
at;
” programming Monday through Thursday evenings – two shows – two half hours shows. ”

then the series will be 10 shows during a week would be 5 days, first season..

hey my math is ballpark.. lol ( I will binge watch ..

davlestev1
davlestev1

Only su0000

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Sounds interesting. Since they will be shooting in the Tri-State area, I’d love to see Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, Robert S. Woods (I know he’s happily retired but I’d love to get him back to work), Hillary B. Smith, Jerry ver Dorn and Florencia Lozano.

Tivette
Tivette

I’m excited! And I’ve signed up! M y only question is WHERE will we find it within the different cable companies line-up or channels?

Lou Piikes
Lou Piikes

This a online network. No cable network needed.

Beth
Beth

Happy to hear that the taping will take place in the NY/NJ/CT area. It’s a sin that no daytime dramas are left which tape in the Northeast, with so many people left unemployed and forced to travel or relocate west in order to work. As for the original drama, I like that they have some structure around it. It has 40 episodes, tops, with 10 episodes for the first season. If Prospect Park had been more practical, and had written stories in arc form, as so many of us had suggested, they might possibly have had more success. It also appears that having a former soap writer with years of experience in daytime drama involved in the online platform is a big step forward, compared to the inexperience of Prospect Park’s businessmen who were very naïve about a lot of things. I’m willing to try this, and I hope that many of my favorites from ATWT, AMC, OLTL and GL who still live in the Northeast will sign up on this show, and that many of the crew members who lost jobs will get another chance to work for soaps.

Jenn
Jenn

This is a great idea! Very excited about this. Sounds like unlike other similar proposed ventures this one really has it together. Can’t wait to watch their programs!

Timmm
Timmm

Anytime someone steps up and tries to keep soap operas relevant, I’m in!

Lou Piikes
Lou Piikes

I feel the same way Timmm. Their hope for the genre is keeping my hope alive. My fingers and toes are crossed that this venture will succeed.

Rodd
Rodd

I’m really looking forward to this! I wish them all the best!

WarrenP
WarrenP

So it’s not a soap opera but a telenovela with a beginning, a middle and an end. And yet most telenovelas are around 150 episodes. As much as I’m excited and delighted at this news, must say there’s an element of disappointment at the structure of it. The British and Australian soaps (in fact most European and African ones too) are all half hour soaps filmed like nightime shows like Meg says this will be. They have 50-70 cast members, of all ages and ethnicities, and are fast moving with outside filming and permanent sets. This sounds like what she’s looking to achieve and maybe if this is succesful, then we’ll see longer shows. The name YEAR ROUNDERS isn’t really appropriate either is it?

Lou Piikes
Lou Piikes

But this is a new venture and more than likely don’t have the budget for a 150 episode telenovela. Doing it this way gives the online network more time to get to know there audiences tastes, and likes and dislikes.

tina sloan
tina sloan

Well I think this is fabulous and of course wish you so much success which I am sure you will have and if Beth needs a mother, there is one right here.!! BRAVO

tina sloan
tina sloan

Since my comment is “awaiting moderation” I am trying it again…Well I think this is fabulous and of course wish you so much success which I am sure you will have and if Beth needs a mother, there is one right here.!! BRAVO

Lisa Robinson
Lisa Robinson

I love daytime television. And it’s so true soap opera fans are really under appreciated. I’m really looking forward to this and wish you all the best. One thing, are you open to ideas for new soaps?

As The World Turns

Final Season of ‘EastSiders’ Starring Kit Williamson and Van Hansis Gets Premiere Date on Netflix

The fourth and final season of the much heralded LGBTQ series, EastSiders now has a premiere date of December 1st on Netflix, and fans of the show will see how things will play out for the Silver Lake duo of Cal  and Thom, who have gone through quite a lot in their relationship over the last three seasons.

EastSiders stars series creator, Kit Williamson (Cal) along with As the World Turns favorite, Van Hansis (Thom).  The last six-episodes that comprise season four will tackle questions such as… what does commitment really look like in a long-term relationship? And what unique challenges does a “gay marriage” present?

In story, Cal and Thom are back home in Los Angeles following season three’s cross-country road trip.  The guys are still trying to figure out if they are just best friends with benefits, or more, or less, than that.

Elsewhere, Douglas (Willam Belli) and Quincy (Stephen Guarino) are engaged to be married, but with very different ideas about what a gay wedding should be. Hillary (Brianna Brown) and Ian (John Halbach) are cohabiting peacefully; and Jeremy (Matthew McKelligon) and Derrick (Leith M. Burke) have taken a huge step in their relationship by fostering a child.

Deadline broke the news of the premiere date and the many special guest stars from primetime and more to look forward to this season.

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Will you be watching the final season of EastSiders? If you follow the series, how do you hope the relationship between Cal and Thom resolves itself? Do they stay together, or move on from each other once and for all? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

Emmy Winner and Noted Soap Opera Head Writer; Hogan Sheffer Passes Away At 61

Over the last several hours, reports have broke that one of daytime’s most notable scribes has died.  Hogan Sheffer, who was head writer at As the World Turns, Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless has passed away at the age of 61.

Soap Hub, first reported the news via multiple sources, however, many writers who worked with Hogan during his tenure on the soaps have taken to social media to share their condolences and their grief and remembrances.

Sheffer’s appearance on the soap scene was unexpected, especially in a genre where it is often rare for new blood to take the reins at the head writer position.  Proctor & Gamble had decided to bring in Hogan after his work as the Director of Screenplay Development for DreamWorks, not because of his writing credits for a previous network soap.  He was given trial deal as a breakdown writer for the CBS soap and 10-weeks in became the beloved town of Oakdale’s new head writer.

Hogan and his then writing team were able to turn the classic, As the World Turns around.  The show went up in the ratings and during his time with the series ‘World Turn’s’ won two Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, and he and the writing team picked up four Emmy victories all through 2000-2004.

Photo: JPI

Next, Sheffer landed in Salem as head writer of Days of our Lives along with Meg Kelly from 2006 through to the beginning of 2008.   He would later join The Young and the Restless and team up with then head writers: Maria Arena Bell and Scott Hamner, and eventually stay with the show till 2012.  During Sheffer’s time in Genoa City, Y&R also won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in 2011.

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On Sunday, former WWE and daytime writer Tom Casiello, who was extremely close with Sheffer…  and who shared how Hogan gave him his start at writing in daytime, took to his Facebook page to pay tribute to a man who had such an impact on his life and many others.  It is worth the read here. 

Y&R writer, Sara Bibel tweeted: “Hogan Sheffer was a gamechanger for ATWT and daytime. Everyone I know who worked with him adored him. RIP”

And, iconic ATWT star, Martha Byrne (Ex-Lily) tweeted on Sheffer’s passing: “To say he was one of a kind would be a tremendous understatement. Our years at ATWT with Hogan at the helm were a rebirth for our beautiful show. Loved his writers, actors,crew. Blessed to have him on the first floor in Brooklyn ready to listen. Talented. Funny. Generous. RIP”

Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) also took to Twitter upon learning of the passing of Sheffer sharing: “I loved him, loved him, loved him… he was so good to me. Thank you for everything, Hogan. You were so loved. Especially, by me… Rest in peace…”

Michael Fairman TV will continue to bring you updates as the soap world mourns the loss of a creative force in our genre.  Share your condolences and thoughts on the death of Hogan Sheffer via the comment section below.

 

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FRIDAY: ATWT’s Larry Bryggman and AMC’s Dorothy Lyman Guest Star On ‘The Blacklist’

Two of the most revered performances ever in the world of daytime drama will be seen tomorrow night on an all-new episode of NBC’s drama series, The Blacklist. (10/9c).

In “The Pawnbrokers”, Daytime Emmy winners, Larry Bryggman (Ex-John Dixon, As the World Turns) and Dorothy Lyman (Ex-Opal Gardner, All My Children) will be seen as a criminal duo!

Bryggman and Lyman play a couple that fronts cash to criminals on the black market. In story, series star, James Spader’s Red acclimates himself to his new digs in federal prison, where he is challenged by an old rival.  Samar (Mozhan Marnò) goes undercover to stop a black market organization that fronts cash to criminals. (Enter Larry and Dorothy!)  And, Liz (Megan Boone) and Jennifer (guest star Fiona Dourif) continue their investigation into Red’s past.

Check out the promo for tomorrow night’s episode below.   Then let us know if you will be checking out Larry and Dorothy and if all of this brings back memories of their amazing performances in Oakdale and in Pine Valley in the comment section below.

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