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Michael Fairman on state of soaps, cancellations, & what fans can do!

Courtesy/Michael Doven Photography

Courtesy/Michael Doven Photography

On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman was asked by SoapTown USA for an interview with their online platform to get his impressions and thoughts on the state of the soap genre, the recent cancellations of OLTL and AMC, what fans can do and how fans are dealing with the loss. SoapTown also takes a look back to when Fairman started his career in soaps through the the tail end of it’s heyday, to it’s dwindling days of current times.

Here are just a few excerpts below, but make sure to read the entire interview at SoapTown USA for the context of these remarks below and more.

Fairman on what fans can do over losing AMC & OLTL other than boycotts or petitions: “When people ask me, ‘What can we do?’ The decision has been made. I want people to fight (this decision) but I want them to fight smart. The way to be smart is to NOT turn off One Life to Live, but tune in to the last nine months, because the show is going to be great. One way, to illustrate, to counter ABC’s decision-making is to tune in and make the ratings go way up! Show them, ‘We’re at a 3.5, look what you did!'”  We can pick up and celebrate what we have left, but right now, I think we’re all feeling a bit deflated. But you should still watch your shows. They’re still vital. What people really to want to see is good story. How are the writers going to structure the canvas? Who are we supposed to root for, I don’t know at times. You need people to root for. Fans want to see the characters they love. And then have things shaken up. We’re running out of time. I think everybody should feel that the clock is ticking.”

Courtesy/ABC

Fairman on of why televnovelas are scoring big ratings and American soaps are not : “They really capture the imagination right now of the Latin community. They’re over the top, they’re dramatic, and they feature beautiful people. All the stuff that soaps should be and it’s working in that market. And the telenovelas have a beginning, middle and end, unlike U.S. soaps which go on to infinity, unless you’re canceled! We’re stuck here in the States. It’s a fast food mentality. If I can see all my bitches, hunks and babes on these reality shows that cost a smidge to produce, why would the networks want to put on Days of our Lives when these shows are cheap and get more audience? That is what is going on through the networks minds. Many out there will say the serial format is your grandmother’s and it’s old, but you have to remember that soaps are passed down from generation to generation, which is why this is so horrible. It’s crushing. I asked people on my Twitter page, ‘What would you say to a programmer if you wanted to sell One Life to Live to them?’ The responses were amazing and well-thought out. One Life to Live was also under budget and lately has had some decent ratings, which makes this decision even more of a slap in the face to the intelligent One Life viewers.”

Fairman on how replacements series: talk-shows, game shows, vs soaps, and the network’s perceptions: “You have to understand, soaps are not the cash cow they once were, the advertisers are not clamoring to sign up, the ratings are down. When The Talk scores ratings equal to or better than As the World Turns, that’s a sign to networks execs that they’re doing something right and justifies their decisions, I think. As for game shows, there’s no emotional investment for viewers, again it’s an hour of fun or distraction but there is no heart. But we have to remember the networks are running that, a network which does need to be filled with all types of programming options for the farthest reach to the public. The bottom line is that soaps have validity, they comfort people, they’re part of Americana, and they bring social issues to life wonderfully when done correctly. They have attempted things that should be commended. Soaps can be used to help families, mothers, children that might be around during the day, or whenever they can tune-in. But why couldn’t soaps get back the audience they lost a decade or more ago? Part of the thing that failed was soaps needed to get back the audience that they lost and get new people in, and that’s one of the struggles they’ve had for several years. A lot has to do with the times we live in, working families, tons of options on channels, it has become a very difficult climb to get back up the mountain for soaps.”

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kay killgore
Guest
kay killgore

Michael, you are so right on. It does not stop th sadness in our hearts that something else has come to an end!

Doe
Guest
Doe

Michael. Loved all your insights on the what, why , and how the soaps are being tossed aside for lesser programing. Obviously, besides us die-hard fans, no one else has an investment in years of dedicated and loyal soap watching. You know the soap industry better than anyone. You have covered it and shared your views for so long and I hope you will still have stories to tell and comfort us with your knowledge. Thanks for sharing with us, Michael. You are to be commended!

Days
Guest
Days

I have watched soaps sence I was 16 and now Im 63, I set with old people that are at home or in rest homes,we all love soaps,we laugh and cry and get mad as hell,but we love all our soaps,we want them to stay on free TV. Joanne

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

As a long-time fan (36 years) of “As the World Turns”, and a recent convert to ABC’s “One life to Live”, my heart goes out to all of you ABC soap fans. Those of us who lost our beloved ATWT – and before that Guiding Light – are still angry about the decision of CBS and Proctor and Gamble (both equally responsible for the demise of GL and ATWT) to cancel our 54-year old soap and replace it with an innane, irrelevant talk show for mommies – “creatively”named “The Talk” – hosted by Julie Chen (wife of Les Moonves, Head… Read more »

CINDY
Guest
CINDY

I agree with most of what you said in your statement, even though The Talk has some good guests. Anyway, I started watching y&R, B&B,GH, Edge of Nt & OLTL,AMC when I was 10 yrs old with my Mom and sister. I began watching ATWT when I go married 20 yrs ago because my husband watched it.Then I got into GL. How upsetting it is to see our daytime stories disappear so quickly!!! 38 yrs I’m watching soaps, and it’s shocking to see what the networks are doing…Like hey have nothing else to do but cancel our daytime lives. I… Read more »

Ceridwyn2
Guest
Ceridwyn2

Read the full article. Lovely interview, Michael. So appreciate the work you’ve been doing over a lifetime. I started to respond in here, but then it just kept expanding as I wrote. So, I decided to take it over to my blog, and post the link here. “The continuing saga of daytime soap opera cancellations” – http://www.celtic-dragon.ca/blog/?p=474 The lyrics of “One Life to Live” tell the tale: Here’s what you do When you don’t find the rainbow’s end This time Here’s where you going to do When it looks like the rain end Don’t cry There’s always tomorrow Where you… Read more »

Outspoken
Guest
Outspoken

C! Nice Touch!

Todd
Guest
Todd

Of course I will bw watching oltl every day until the end. I do now. I watch it o.line as I am not home in the afternoon. I cant in my heart watch anythi.g else anymore on abc. Not castle, not modern family, not dwts.i dont know if it helps or hurts, but it makes me feel better

Jackie Garlow
Guest
Jackie Garlow

I can’t believe AMC is being cancelled! I have been watching it for years! Never disappointed. Do they really think another boring reality show or equally boring cooking show will be able to replace the shows they are taking off?? Reality and cooking shows have been way overdone! They are just a cheap way to fill air space! Save the soaps!!!

Donna Robinson
Guest
Donna Robinson

I work hard through the busy days and record my soaps at night while I cook for my business. I watch all 3 soaps.They might think of the bottom line but I hope the sponsors think of their bottom line.I WILL NOT PURCHASE ONE ITEM THAT SPONSORS ABC NOR WILL MY FRIENDS BOTH MALE AND FEMALE IN OUR WESTBROOK/PORTLAND MAINE AREA.Being a business owner I like to keeps my customers happy and it’s quite clear ABC does not. When OLTL and AMC are off we are OFF!!!!! I

All My Children

TONIGHT: All My Children’s Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams Together Again on All-New Episode of ‘Our Kind of People’

The Fox drama, Our Kind of People (9 pm ET/8pm CT), will feature a reunion, of sorts, on tonight’s January 18th episode when Debbi Morgan (Ex-Angie, All My Children) once again shares screen-time with her former on-screen soap opera love, Darnell Williams (Ex-Jesse, All My Children).

While mum’s the word as to Williams role, we know that Debbi plays Angela’s Aunt Piggy on the series, and in last week’s installment, Piggy went to the police station to turn herself in for the murder of her ex-boyfriend years ago.  However, Darnell’s character could hold the key as to what really went down in the murder.

Photo: JPI

Debbi spoke to TV Line about acting again with Darnell: “We were shooting the scene when Darnell’s character walks through the door for the first time.  And it was the first time we see this character on the show, and I looked at him and shouted, ‘Jesse!’ The director had to yell cut and everyone fell out laughing. It was hilarious. I knew that wasn’t his name on Our Kind of People but I couldn’t help myself. We worked together for so many years as Angie and Jesse and that’s the first thing that came to my mind.”

Photo: FOX

For those who have not checked out Our Kind of People, it takes place in the aspirational world of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, a historical stronghold where the rich and powerful Black elite have come to play for over 50 years.

In story, strong-willed single mom Angela Vaughn (Ex-AMC star, Yaya Decosta) sets out to reclaim her family’s name and make an impact with her revolutionary hair care line that highlights the innate, natural beauty of Black women, but she soon discovers a dark secret about her own mother’s past that will turn her world upside-down and shake up this community forever. The show is a soapy, thrilling exploration of race and class in America and an unapologetic celebration of Black resilience and achievement.

The series is from writer and executive producer Karin Gist (Star, Grey’s Anatomy) and executive producer Lee Daniels (Empire, The United States Vs. Billie Holiday).

So, will you be watching Debbi and Darnell together on tonight’s Our Kind of People? Comment below.

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All My Children

Three-Time Daytime Emmy Winner, Cady McClain, Reveals She’s ‘Back On Set’ But On Which Show?

After her Instagram post earlier this week, fans of Cady McClain have been attempting to dissect her cryptic tease of a message. McClain, a three-time Daytime Emmy winner, shared the good news with fans that she is ‘back to work’, except she didn’t share which show or project she is working on … just yet!

In her post, McClain teased: “Back on set! Fun to be working again on such a terrific show! Can’t wait to be able to share the news with you all soon! Meantime, hoping you are all taking good care of yourselves. Sending hugs!! ”

Now, it could be Cady is working on a primetime show, not a daytime show, but we shall see.

She has previously appeared on The Young and the Restless and Days of our Lives of the four remaining daytime soaps.  On Y&R she played Kelly Andrews, and on DAYS, Jennifer Horton Deveraux.  And, as viewers of the NBC soap saw this week, Jennifer (in a short appearance by Melissa Reeves) returned to Salem with Jack (Matthew Ashford), only to tie-up loose ends over the holidays and exit the show.

Since DAYS still tapes months ahead, could McClain be returning there, or might she pop up on GH and B&B? The character of Kelly was killed-off of Y&R back in 2015.

Previously, Cady became soap-famous for her roles as Dixie Cooney Martin on All My Children and Rosanna Cabot on As the World Turns.

Share your thoughts on which show you hope Cady is working on, whether, primetime, daytime, or a streaming series, in the comment section below.

 

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A post shared by Cady McClain (@cadymcclain)

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All My Children

‘Selling Sunset’ and Soap Alum, Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim Split

Chrishell Stause, best known to soap fans for her work on All My Children, Days of our Lives, and The Young and the Restless, and currently seen in Netflix reality series, Selling Sunset, is the romance break-up news this week.

Now comes word via PEOPLE, that Stause and Jason Oppenheim (Los Angeles real estate firm owner of the Oppenheim Group) have called it quits after five months of dating.

Oppenheim took to his Instagram Story and shared on the break-up: “While Chrishell and I are no longer together, we remain best friends and we will always love and support one another/. She was the most amazing girlfriend I’ve ever had, and it was the happiest and most fulfilling relationship of my life. While we have different wants regarding a family, we continue to have the utmost respect for one another. Chrishell is an exceptional human being and loving her and having her in my life is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.”

Just two days ago, Chrishell shared an Instagram video with Oppenheim from the Selling Sunset makeup trailer just as the cast wrapped filming its fifth season.

Previously, Stause was married to This Is Us star Justin Hartley, while Oppenheim used to date another Selling Sunset star and Oppenheim Group employee. Mary Fitzgerald.

So, what do you think of the break-up of Chrishell and Jason? Comment below.

 

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A post shared by Chrishell (@chrishell.stause)

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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