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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?

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.

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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
davlestev1

Only su0000

Llanviewer717
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Lou Piikes

This a online network. No cable network needed.

Beth
Guest
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… Read more »

Jenn
Guest
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
Guest
Timmm

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

Lou Piikes
Guest
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
Guest
Rodd

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

WarrenP
Guest
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… Read more »

Lou Piikes
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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

As the World Turns Alum Rita Walter Dead at 71

We’re still losing so many beloved soap opera actors as 2022 comes to a close. Now comes word that former As the World Turns alum, Rita Walter (nee McLaughlin) passed away at the age of 71.  Walter had been diagnosed with Multifocal Glioblastoma, an extremely aggressive form of terminal brain cancer.

Rita had an 11-year-run as Oakdale’s Carol Deming Hughes Stallings Andropoulos Frazier.

The former actress-turned-optician, died on Christmas.  Rita’s brother, David McLaughlin revealed the news on the 26th which also happened to be the anniversary of Walter’s exit from the defunct CBS soap opera in 1981.

In his posting on Facebook, McLaughlin shared: “My sweet, loving sister Rita was called to Jesus today on Christmas day, his birthday. She was a well known actress as well as dedicated server of the Lord Jesus. May you rest in peace Sis, I love you forever. You’ve taken my heart with you.”

Photo: SOD

Before playing good girl, Carol Deming, who always found herself in distress as only a good heroine could do, Rita started her career as Patty Duke’s double on The Patty Duke Show, before getting her first foray into soaps with a role on The Secret Storm as Wendy Phillips.

We clearly remember when on ATWT, Carol was married to Jay Stallings, but Jay was having an affair behind her back. Carol also had failed relationships and marriages to Tom Hughes and Steve Andropolous.  Eventually, Carol left Oakdale after falling in love and marrying Reverend Norman Frazier.  In a case of life imitating art, Rita married Reverend Normal Walter in 1976.

Walter is survived by her three children, Brian, Jill, and Amy, and her husband, Reverend Norman.

Share your condolences and remembrances for ATWT’s Rita Walter in the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

ATWT Alum Michael Park Joins The Cast of Hulu Drama ‘Saint X’

Great news! Fans who have missed Michael Park (ex-Jack, As the World Turns) on the small screen will get a chance to see him once again in the new psychological drama series, Saint X.

The series will stream on Hulu and in it the two-time Daytime Emmy-winning actor will play the part of Bill Thomas, in the eight-episode series adapted from Alexis Schaitkin’s novel.

In story, Bill and his wife Mia Thomas (Betsy Brandt) are upper middle class parents of two, enjoying a family vacation in a Caribbean resort until one of their daughters goes missing.

According to Deadline, the series is told via multiple timelines and perspectives, explores and upends the girl-gone-missing genre as it explains how a young woman’s mysterious death during an idyllic Caribbean vacation creates a traumatic ripple effect that eventually pulls her surviving sister into a dangerous pursuit of the truth.

No further details have been been made available as to when the show will premiere on the streamer, but stay tuned for more updates.

So, excited to see Michael in Saint X? Comment below.

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As The World Turns

ATWT Alum Julianne Moore to Star In New Limited-Series

In casting news, Academy Award-winner and As the World Turns alum, Julianne Moore (Ex-Frannie and Sabrina Hughes) will star in a new period-piece drama for Sky and AMC.

Moore, who won a Daytime Emmy for her work on the beloved CBS soap back in 1988, will play Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham, in Mary & George.

Villers in 17th Century England moulded her  son, George, to seduce King James I and become his all-powerful lover. Through outrageous scheming, the pair rose from humble beginnings to become one of the richest, most titled, and influential mother and sons England had ever seen.

According to Deadline, the series is due to begin filming in early 2023 and is slated for an 8-episode run.

Mary & George will mark only the second time, Moore has starred in a TV drama, after her appearance in the 2021 Apple mini-series Lisey’s Story.

Julianne won her Oscar for Lead Actress back in 2014 for Still Alice, where she played a woman battling Alzheimer’s disease.

Intrigued to see Julianne in Mary & George? Comment below.

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