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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?

All My Children

ABC and PEOPLE’s ‘The Story of Soaps’: What Was Your Review Of It?

Tuesday’s night airing of ABC and PEOPLE’s two-hour special The Story of Soaps featured many notable daytime and primetime soap stars, past and present, clips from backstage to classic memorable moments, and some participants who were providing commentary on the erosion of the daytime soaps in our culture.  Still others, maintained and realized that everything today is serialized from the news we watch, to some of Netflix’s most binge-watchable series, and of course, the birth of reality-programming.

Throughout the airing of the special, The Story of Soaps was trending on Twitter and social media either at the #2, #3 or #4 spots for the entire duration of the broadcast presentation, and the cancelled and beloved All My Children was also at one point trending.

However, known soap writers, journalists, ardent fans, and actors of the genre, were all on Twitter last night live-tweeting their thoughts as the special went down, and there was definitely mixed reactions and reviews, when all was said and done.

What the special did not shy away from, but tackled, was Luke’s rape of Laura at the campus disco on General Hospital. and how that moment now, as Genie Francis (Laura), so eloquently put, would be considered as ‘date rape’ in our culture.  The series even included a pivotal moment where Laura addresses Luke (Tony Geary) about the rape years later, after helping Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) through her rape ordeal.

John Stamos (Ex-Blackie Parrish, GH) got a bevy of “Right On’s!” for his comment that the soaps do not get the credit that they deserve and clearly came through as one of the soaps greatest supporters, as did former The Doctors and Knots Landing star, Alec Baldwin.

However, throughout the two-hours, Andy Cohen’s commentary was thread throughout; mostly citing soap’s demise and the creation of reality-programming and his “Real Housewives” franchise, that the special touted as the new soap operas.  It continued on the narrative that people preferred to see real-life drama then made-up drama on a fictional soap.  And while, that has been a trend in American culture for decades, the commentary came off as often out of place in a celebration of the soaps; and bringing in a lot of negativity to the special that soap fans were tired of hearing.

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In a lighting rod moment, Cohen stated: “I know Susan Lucci doesn’t agree with me, but I think that the Housewives have replaced soap operas because truth is stranger than fiction. Soaps became kind of unnecessary because you could do it with real people, and they’re writing the drama themselves.”

The special did also address the cancellations of All My Children and One Life to Live, (which many were not sure they were going to do – given this special was airing on ABC), where One Life’s leading lady and six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki) said what we all wanted to sa ywhen the ax fell on the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, “People were horrified”.

Clearly, OJ Simpson and his murder trial and reality-programming were also given a chunk of time to show where the once mighty landscape of daytime soaps which once had 13 shows on the air, dwindled town to 4.  But, it would have been nice to see more time spent on how in this day and age, the people in this current landscape of the genre work so hard to get episodes done at an unbelievable pace, and how in that climate the performers still deliver gut-wrenching performances.

Photo: ABC

Former Loving, OLTL and Breaking Bad star, Bryan Cranston, did point out how the once powerful soaps, just don’t have the dollars they used to, and need to, to help with production costs and their taping schedule.

Viewers were reminded of soaps’ socially relevant storylines including hankie-inducing moments from: Robin (Kimberly McCullough) and Stone’s (Michael Sutton) HIV/AIDS storyline on General Hospital, to Billy Douglas being a gay teen coming out on One Life to Live, played by a young Ryan Phillippe.

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There also did not seem time spent on the contributions of William J. Bell; one of the most prominent writers of the soap genre of all-time.

For many commenting on social media last night, there seemed to be a feeling of some glaring omissions of participants who could speak on this genre, who have been in the trenches as soap producers, soap writers, pundits, actors, and more, who were not included in the special.

So, what was your review of The Story of Soaps? How would you grade it? Do you feel it accurately reflected the history of the genre?  Were you happily surprised,  or when it came to the end where you over it, or somewhere in between? Sound off in the comment section below.  Below are some tweets from notables who have worked as an actor, a writer, and a journalist in the soaps.  

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Don Hastings and Kathryn Hays Together Again For Upcoming ATWT Virtual Chat

Got to love Oakdale’s enduring favorites Bob and Kim Hughes! And now, although As the World Turns has been off our screens for back on September 17th, 2010, the love for the soap is still as strong today to its ardent fans.

So with that said, on You Tube’s The Locher Room, former soap publicist and host Alan Locher is bringing together Don Hastings (Bob) and Kathryn Hays (Kim) for a very special virtual chat on Friday May 15th beginning at 2. p. m. EST/11 a, m.  PST.

Make sure to log on here to view the conversation.

Make sure to let us know in the comment section below your favorite Bob and Kim moments over the years!

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Mark Collier Added To ATWT Reunion Line-Up For Friday

Everyone needs a little Mike Kasnoff in their lives, right?  Well, news today from The Locher Room has that for the scheduled As the World Turns virtual chat tomorrow, Mark Collier will be joining the funfest.

Now look for the updated line-up to include former As the World Turns cast members: Jennifer Ferrin (Jennifer Munson Donovan), Jennifer Landon (Gwen Munson), Colleen Zenk (Barbara Ryan) and Collier.

They will join former ATWT and GL show publicist, Alan Locher as he hosts the reunion on his You Tube Channel beginning on Friday May 8th starting at 2 p.m EST/11 a.m.PST.  You can watch the livestream here.

Collier played the role of Oakdale’s Mark Kasnoff from 2002-2007, and then returned for a time in 2009.   The role has originally been played by Shawn Christian from 1994-1997

Will you be watching this ATWT reunion? Remember Mark as Oakdale’s Mike? Comment beloe.

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It’s “Villains Week” on Y&R an that means some Sheila Carter, David Kimball, and Isabella Brana, Check out the promo from CBS Daytime here.  Leave A Comment

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