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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
Guest
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

Soap Vet Exec Prod and Director, Chris Goutman, Virtual Interview On Tap

The former executive producer of Another World and As the World Turns, Chris Goutman, will appear on a very special episode of The Locher Room next Friday, September 24th.

To celebrate the virtual interview show’s 200th episode, the Emmy Award-winning producer and director will join Alan Locher beginning at 3 p.m. EST / 12 p.m PST.   You can watch it live here.

Having started his career in the soaps an actor appearing on The Doctors, Search for Tomorrow, The Edge of Night and Texas, Goutman moved on to becoming a director and eventually an executive producer.  Chris has directed episodes of nine different daytime dramas.

Goutman currently serves as the Artistic Director, Associate Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

So, will you be tuning-in to see what Chris has to say about his time on AW and ATWT and more? Comment below.

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As The World Turns

Michael Park Joins the Cast of HBO’s ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’

Two-time Daytime Emmy winner and former star of As the World Turns Michael Park (Ex-Jack Snyder), has been added to the cast of HBO’s upcoming time travel drama, The Time Traveler’s Wife.

According to Deadline, the series is adapted by former Dr. Who head writer and Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat, The Time Traveler’s Wife tells the intricate love story of Clare (Leslie) and Henry (James), and a marriage with a problem… time travel.

In it, Park will play the role of “Philip Abshire” – Clare’s father, who is said to be a high-powered Chicago lawyer, he is brisk and orderly, and expects all his children to fall into line.

The series also will star former General Hospital and Oscar winner, Jaimie Ray Newman (Ex-Kristina).  She won an Academy Award for her Live-Action Short, Skin.

Photo: IMDb

So, looking forward to seeing Michael and Jaimie in their new TV roles? Comment below.

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As The World Turns

ATWT and OLTL Alum Mary Linda Rapelye Passes Away at 76

She got her soap start as Faith Kipling, the wife of the evil Dr. Ivan Kipling on One Life to Live (1979-1980) and later came to Oakdale and As the World Turns as lawyer, Maggie Crawford (1980-1985), and now comes sad news that actress Mary Linda Rapelye has died from a battle with cancer.

Mary Linda actually passed away last month on April 5th, and according to The Booth Bay Register she was surrounded by her her brother Gardiner Rapelye Jr. and dear friends Julianna and Will Anderson by her side.  She was 76 years old at the time of her death.

Mary Linda started a long career of acting when she was only 5.  After her part in an outdoor production at The Starlight Theater in her home town, Kansas City, Missouri, she climbed off the stage and sat in her father’s lap. This was to be the beginning of her work spanning nearly eight decades on stage, screen and television. She is best known for her roles in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, and of course, OLTL and ATWT.  She also made a memorable appearance in the role of Irina Galliulin in the Star Trek: The Original Series third season episode “The Way to Eden”.

A Memorial and Celebration of Life is being planned this July for MaryLinda in Booth Bay.

Below is a tribute video featuring clips and moments from Rapelye’s career.

Share your remembrances and condolences for Mary Linda in the comment section.

 

 

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