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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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Emma
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Emma

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… Read more »

Karen (limeybird2)
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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… Read more »

Michael Bird
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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… Read more »

Louise Stephens
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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… Read more »

As The World Turns

As the World Turns Alum Marnie Schulenburg Passes Away at 37

Heartbreaking news to report.  As the World Turns alum, Marnie Schulenburg, has died at the young age of 37-years-old.

Schulenburg had been battling stage 4 metastatic breast cancer since 2020.

Soap fans remember her portrayals as Alison Stewart on As the World Turns from 2007-2010 and  as Jo Sullivan on Prospect Park’s reboot of One Life to Live in 2013.

According to Soap Opera Digest, Marnie passed away a few days shy of her 38th birthday.

The Flux Theatre Ensemble, in which Marnie participated and performed in shared their sorrow on Facebook noting: “We’re mourning the loss of Marnie Schulenburg, a beloved member of Flux’s family and an extraordinary actor who performed in and helped develop so many Flux shows, including MARIAN, HEARTS LIKE FISTS, PRETTY THEFT, and ANGEL EATERS. We love you so much, and we will miss you always.”

Marnie is survived by husband Zack Robidas and daughter, Coda, who is just two-years-old.

We will continue to update this story as remembrances are posted in Marnie’s honor.

Share you condolences to Marnie’s family and your thoughts in the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

ATWT Alum Alexandra Chando Cast in NBC Pilot Based on Dutch Show ‘Adam & Eva’

In casting news, Alexandra Chando (Ex-Maddie, As the World Turns) had been tapped to play one of the leading roles in the upcoming untiled NBC pilot based on the Dutch series, Adam & Eva.

Chando will be joined by Younger star, Ben Rappaport as the epicenter of the proposed series.

The log lines share that the project is both funny and heartfelt and will chronicle the epic love and lives of two complete strangers, Adam (Rappaport) and Eva (Chando), whose multiple run-ins begin to defy coincidence, leading both to believe in fate.

According to Deadline, Alexandra’s role of Eva is said to be an aspiring artist and force of nature whose relationship and views on fate are put to the test when she meets Adam.

Alexandra commented on social media:Immensely excited and grateful to be apart of this incredible show.”

As the World Turns fans will remember Chando received a Daytime Emmy nomination for her performances back in 2007 and she was previously seen in The Lying Game and Sneaky Pete.

So, intrigued on the proposed series featuring Chando? Comment below.

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As The World Turns

Julianne Moore Pays Tribute to ATWT’s Kathryn Hays: “I Am in Indebted to Her and So Saddened by Her Loss”

The soap world has been in mourning since last Friday with the news of the passing of As the World Turns icon, Kathryn Hays (Kim Hughes).  The beloved actress passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 87.

Now, Hays former on-screen stepdaughter and niece, Oscar winner, Julianne Moore (Ex-Frannie/Sabrina Hughes) took to Instagram over the weekend to share her heartfelt remembrance and grief of working with Hays early in her acting career on ATWT.

Photo: JPI

Moore shared: “The beautiful and gracious Kathryn Hays has passed away. I worked with Kathryn on As the World Turns at the beginning of my career and she treated me with such kindness and generosity, and demonstrated in her every action how to be professional on a set. I am indebted to her and so saddened by her loss. My thoughts are with her family – she spoke to me so often of her daughter. I hope they know what a profound influence Kathryn had on me, and so many others. RIP Kathryn ❤️❤️❤️ ”

Julianne had played twins Frannie and Sabrina from 1985-1988 and then returned to the CBS soap opera one final time in 2010 before ATWT made its final farewell.

What do you think of the kind words Moore shared on her thoughts on the passing of Kathryn Hays? Do you remember Julianne in scenes with Kathryn on ATWT, if so, what were some of your favorites? Comment below.

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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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