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As The World Turns

NPR: 'As the World' Stops Turning, Are Soaps Dead?' Segment

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

National Public Radio’s, All Things Considered this weekend had as it’s guest, former As the World Turns writer, Peter Brash, for a segment on:  if the end is near for soap operas, and what has caused it’s decline.  The audio interview was about 3 and half minutes, but on the NPR website, they also posted an accompanying story and excerpts from the interview including the following below!

“Hardly anyone these days admits to watching soap operas, but they once dominated the daytime TV schedules.  Forty years ago, there were 18 soaps airing on the major networks; today, there are only six. Next month there will be one fewer when As the World Turns signs off after more than five decades on the air.  Peter Brash, a staff writer for As the World Turns, tells NPR’s Audie Cornish that the soaps are really victims of their own success. “The serialized format has spread out just about everywhere you look,” he says. Four decades ago, most shows presented a self-contained story every week. But now, “it’s all branded to hook you in, to tune in tomorrow. “That means you can get your drama fix any time. You don’t have to sit at home all day and devote five hours a week to keeping up with all the illicit affairs, car wrecks, secret babies and evil twins with amnesia.  Brash says the soaps were all about women — but hardly any women are watching anymore.

Reality television isn’t helping either, Brash says. “They’re soap operas in themselves They’re just — real. So the audience is savvy enough to know they’re watching one that’s real — ‘Oh, she’s really pulling her hair,’ and ‘Oh my god, she might hurt her” — and one that’s staged. So which one becomes more compelling?”

Brash has written some compelling story lines of his own in 30 years of writing for soaps. “Once, I was responsible for having two naked people fall from a meteor shower. They seemed to be from another planet, and they ran around naked one summer in Salem. I probably should have told the audience right away that the mad scientist in town had just put them up in a rocket ship and they really weren’t aliens. It’s always better if the audience is in on the joke in that way.”

Traditional soaps — naked mystery aliens and all — may be on the wane, but Brash says their influence is felt all over the television dial.  “Soap operas are kind of lending their DNA to the rest of the entertainment media world, and that includes dramatic and reality [shows].  So I don’t think it’s a dead medium; it’s just morphing into different things.”

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Sadly, I think daytime soaps are dead or at least will be completely in the next 3-5 years, because they have refused to evolve and change. The dialog is weak, the storylines are often confusing, repetitive, and sadly bad. But, most critically, daytime soaps have committed the ultimate sin. They’ve becoming boring.

Their storytelling has not really evolved since the 80’s. And with the current crop of continually recycled headwriters (I mean typically when a person gets fired from the top post at a job, they are lucky if they get another shot at a similar job, they don’t tend to get job after job after job), soaps will never evolve. There will never be another Gloria Monty/Douglas Marland, who can see daytime soaps for more than what they are now, to see what they can be. And as a result, they will die. It’s very sad.

Karen (limeybird2)
Karen (limeybird2)

The main problem with the decline of soap operas is that the writers can’t or won’t come up with new stories. They keep recycling the same old stories that were on 30 years ago.
Times have changed & the stories should change too. If the soaps that are still on the air after ATWT goes off on Sept. 17th want to stay on the air they need to take a good long look at what stories they are writing. People get tired of the ridiculous find out you have a twin 20 years later, or didn’t remember giving birth only to have your child show up, or sleep with every member of the same family.
They should also go all out on any story they write. If they’re going to write a gay or lesbian couple into the show, they should treat them the same way they treat a heterosexual couple, if they’re not, then don’t write them in. The same way with a minority couple, either go the whole way with a story or don’t write it at all.
That’s the main problem we had with ATWT. They wrote first Luke/Noah & threw stupid stories to break them up & get them back together with little sex, then when they finally brought on someone worthy of Luke, they did the same thing. They threw stupid plot devices to keep them from having sex or even have a long term relationship because they can’t have a gay couple happy.

Michael Bird
Michael Bird

This is my newspaper column in our hometown this week … I thought I would share it with you guys. Elegy for the End of the “World” “Good morning, dear.” Those were the first words spoken by actress Helen Wagner, who portrayed matriarch Nancy Hughes until her death earlier this summer, on the afternoon of April 2, 1956 as CBS-TV premiered the first 30-minute daytime drama live from New York City – AS THE WORLD TURNS. A production of Cincinnati soap and cleaning products giant Procter and Gamble – the company that gave this genre its nickname – ATWT was a creation of Irna Phillips, who had written and created the most successful soap operas of the radio era, such as THE GUIDING LIGHT. The residents of fictional Oakdale, Illinois, were live on November 22, 1963, when Walter Cronkite broke into a scene between Nancy and Grandpa Hughes to announce that President John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. And until the late 1970s, ATWT was still performing each episode live. It ends its life next week, with the final episode taped at Brooklyn’s JC Studios. ATWT was the number-one soap opera on television its first two decades, and was the first soap featured on TV GUIDE’s cover in 1971; original daytime vixen, Lisa, portrayed by Eileen Fulton, starred in her own prime-time spinoff series, OUR PRIVATE WORLD, in 1965; comedienne Carol Burnett even parodied the program on her variety show with “As the Stomach Turns”. The tragedies and triumphs of the Hughes and Stewart families carried the first quarter-century of ATWT, and if CBS wanted to be known as Tiffany network, then AS THE WORLD TURNS was among its crown jewels. The few crazy years of competition with rival ABC’s youth-oriented “run-and-gun” soaps are not the most notable in show history, although these years did produce memorable storylines that featured future megastars like Meg Ryan, Marisa Tomei, and Julianne Moore. For many viewers, however, the program’s golden age began in 1985 with the appointment of actor-turned-writer Douglas Marland to the post of Head Writer. Marland re-established the supremacy of the Hughes and Stewart families while adding the Snyder family as a representation of his own life growing up on a Midwestern farm. He refused to let plot devices drive storylines; rather, with actor and audience input, allowed stories to develop from character. Saying goodbye to an extended Oakdale family that I’ve been watching for virtually my entire life is proving difficult in these last days. I have been there for all the kidnappings, evil twins, back-from-the-dead spouses, and baby switches all these years. I also learned a lot about Alzheimer’s disease, rape, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, and alcoholism along the way. ATWT was an escape, but it was also an education. I have also witnessed some powerhouse acting – Larry Bryggman as John Dixon, Elizabeth Hubbard as Lucinda Walsh, Don Hastings as Bob Hughes, Colleen Zenk as Barbara Ryan, Maura West as Carly Tenney, Kathryn Hays as Kim Hughes, Michael… Read more »

Louise Stephens
Louise Stephens

OK, I’m being biased here. My favorite soaps are One Life to Live and General Hospital. Following the thrilling GH episode of “the Balkin” situation, GH seems to have temporarily gone downhill, but OLTL is still kicking high, in my opinion !! On All My Children, I admire Susan Lucci for her longtime commitment , but I eventually grew tired of her main character not holding on to at least ONE husband, plus many of the storylines just centered around her. I’m glad ABC at least decided to not cancel OLTL until January 2012. Better yet, I hope they will be pressured to change their mind. The replacement shows don’t seem exciting at all!

All My Children

TAINTED DREAMS Season 2 To Bow December 21st!

Tainted Dreams is back with a second season offering from Daytime Emmy-winning director and series creator, Sonia Blangiardo!

Beginning December 21st, the next chapter of Blangiardo’s the soap behind a soap, will be available for streaming on Amazon and Amazon Prime. (season one is also currently available on Amazon)

This series, which was nominated for five 2017 Daytime Emmys, follows the behind-the-scenes drama of a fictitious soap opera titled Painted Dreams.  Many soap opera notables have roles in the online series including: Alicia Minshew, Michael Lowry , Austin Peck. Terri Ivens,  Walt Willey, Kelley Menighan, Grant Aleksander, Bobbie Eakes, Natalia Livingston, Marnie Schulenburg, Nathan Purdee, Colleen Zenk, James DePaiva, Tonja Walker, Ilene Kristen, and the late Larkin Malloy . In addition, Jessie Godderz of Impact Wrestling and Big Brother fame, and Dina Manzo of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, also appear.

In a statement, Sonia Blangiardo said that she is “excited to take everyone along these characters’ journeys in Season 2, as they evolve and deal with ever increasing professional and personal turmoil.”

Fore more on Tainted Dreams visit their official website here.  (more…)

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As The World Turns

Crystal Hunt, Donna Mills, Antonio Sabato Jr & Michael Swan Star In New Faith-Based Soap Opera, HILTON HEAD ISLAND!

Some longtime soap opera notables are featured in a new 22 episode faith-based soap entitle, Hilton Head Island.

The series debuts this Friday, November 10th with the first eight installments, and is from the Christian entertainment company,

The soap opera is available by subscription, but the service offers a one-month free trial.  In story, Hilton Head Island, revolves around the lives of the fictional Trisk family, who own the a television network.

Hilton Head Island features: Antonio Sabato Jr. (ex-Jagger, General Hospital), Donna Mills (ex-Abby, Knots Landing), Michael Swan (ex-Duncan, As the World Turns), and Crystal Hunt (ex-Lizzie, GL). specializes in “family-oriented” content and shows. The plan is for Hilton Head Island to be rolled out in two subsequent seven-episode blocks in the coming weeks.

Watch the first official trailer for the soap after the jump.  Then let us know your thoughts in the comment section below! (more…)

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As The World Turns

EastSiders Season 3 Starring Van Hansis and Kit Williamson Kickstarter Campaign Underway!

EastSiders is on its way back for season three, which is great news since the LGBT series starring former As the World Turns star Van Hasis (Ex-Luke) as Thom and creator/writer/producer Kit Williamson as Cal.

Over the last few seasons, the funny, poignant, and extremely well-written series tells the tale of a couple who go through the struggles of their relationship while living in Silver Lake, California.

With many twist and turns and featuring a supporting cast that includes: Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat)Brianna Brown (General Hospital, Devious Maids, the upcoming Dynasty), Stephen Guarino (Happy Endings, I’m Dying Up Here), Willam Beli (RuPaul’s Drag Race, Nip/Tuck) Traci Lords (Crybaby, Zach and Miri Make a Porno), Matthew McKelligon (You’re Killing Me), Jonathan Lisecki (Gayby) and John Halbach (Producer, EastSiders), the series third season looks to be one of its most intriguing yet.

This time Thom and Cal (Hansis and Williamson) end up on the great American road trip after moving from L.A. to the Big Apple and then trying to get back home! The journey home to Silver Lake was shot on-location in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and  California over 35 days last fall.

The production has now launched their Kicktstarter campaign to finish up the series and is hoping for some funding for additional shoot days, and post-production costs. The campaign is set to run until June 6th, by which time the producers must have attained their goal of $60,000, or if you contribute and they have not met their goal, it is refunded. (more…)

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Video du Jour

This week on Y&R, Nick reveals himself to Victor as the one who has been masquerading at J.T.! Meanwhile, Lily and Hilary are involved in a terrible car crash, and Mariah and Tessa reconnect. What did you think of Nick’s revenge plot on Victor? Watch the latest promo from CBS below, then let us know. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

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Power Performance

Rob Scott Wilson as Ben

Days of our Lives

Airdate: 7-5/6-2018