Connect with us

Days Of Our Lives

N.Y. Times Takes a Look: How Are Remaining Daytime Soaps Adjusting to Stay On the Air?

Courtesy/NY Times

Courtesy/NY Times

In another New York Times article this weekend on the daytime soap genre,  this one by writer/reporter Taffy Brodesser-Akner takes a look at how three of the remaining four daytime soap operas: Days of our Lives, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful have made changes in their storytelling and their budgets to adapt to the downturn in the soap landscape and to keep viewers coming back.  According to the article, General Hospital was asked to participate, but declined to comment as part of this piece, so take that as you will.

Interviewed for the Times feature were Days of our Lives star, James Scott (EJ DiMera), Deidre Hall (Marlena), the show’s co-executive producer, Greg Meng, plus NBC’s Senior VP of Current Programming,  Bruce Evans.  In addition, B&B’s head honcho, Brad Bell, and Y&R’s executive producer and head writer, Maria Arena Bell.  Below are some interesting excerpts from the story from some of the soap notables!

DAYS James Scott noted, “Some soaps were able to adapt financially and streamline production, and some were not.  It was disappointing when All My Children got canceled.  It wasn’t necessary.  They failed to come in on time and under budget.”  James also told the Times,  he and his “Days” co-stars had become used to the quicker pace of shooting.  His shooting day begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. to avoid overtime, while his friends on All My Children would routinely tape until 8 p.m. “I’ve had a second take on less than 15 scenes out of the last thousand I’ve shot,” he said.   Adding to the consistent cancellation rumors of the soaps in general, James added, “Maybe we’ll be canceled in 18 months, but do you know anyone who gets this much notice that they’re going to be fired? If you want stability, go and become a doctor. People always get sick.”

Bruce Evans reassured that DAYS is in a good place and financially healthy and also stating, “Keeping the show on the air makes good business sense for us. The numbers are important, and the numbers are good.” Greg Meng noted how the story of Sami and EJ having grief sex and the fallout has had some light-speed viewer feedback never seen by the series, “We had record-breaking feedback.  It got people talking on Twitter, Facebook, in the grocery store.  That’s how you create a drama.”

B&B’s Brad Bell talked about the difference in his show from the 80’s to its modern day version, “We’re no longer the schmaltzy, fluffy romance of the ’80s’.  Women are more independent and edgier.  The dialogue is clever and witty.  The old theory says: Keep things moving slowly, because if people are only watching two or three times a week, they need to know what’s happening.  Our new theory is: Something has to happen every day, and it’s more important to feel as though you’ve missed something by not watching.”

Finally, Y&R’s Maria Arena Bell added, “The desire for this sort of wholly American art form that you can have a relationship with day after day is still going to be there. If we can weather this storm, then we can ultimately see that the daytime has room for various kinds of programming, just the way prime time does.”

So what do you think about the comments from some of soaps luminaries?  Do you feel and see the adjustments the shows creatives are making when viewing your favorite soap at home? Let us know!

Click to comment
Advertisement

Leave a Reply

avatar
Gman
Gman

While I completely agree that daytime is in a serious state of flux, and any changes that can keep the shows on the air need to be implemented, the only thing I still disagree with is the statement from Brad Bell about not keeping things happening slowly. Y&R was notorious for taking forever to bring stories to a conclusion, and it was masterful. That’s how they became the #1 show on the air. There was depth, there were layers, and subtleties, unfortunately missing today. Not that it has stopped me from watching though =)

barbara t
barbara t

wish abc felt the same about our 3 soaps ,one life to live was under budget and the evil abc/disney still wasnt happy until they had more money in there pockets and now there programing is cheep ,its nothing special ,you can go anywhere and find the same low budget trash that I wont watch ,all my children and one life to live are class shows that abc will never have again ,general hospital is going on 49 years ,abc will never have any show on there network ,that will come close to that many years.who ever made the decision to get rid of the soaps ,i believe made the wrong choice ,there were so many other shows in there daytime lineup that they could get rid of and left our soaps alone .why abc, why couldnt you just leave our soaps alone ,you lost millions of your fan base,and you really pissed us off,and were not coming back ,at least this all my children,one life to live,and general hospital fan wont,even if your the last network standing ,Ill throw my television out in the garbage before I ever tune in to abc/disney again.

janice
janice

Amen!!!@

krktoday?
krktoday?

The highest rated The Chew hasn’t even come close to the lowest rated All My Children. They aren’t looking for rating’s they just want all the profit. They put these unheard of people of talk show’s and pay them next to nothing. No one is watching but I don’t think they care. They will pay Katie Couric a lot to replace GH but not as much as they pay for the entire cast of GH. No one will watch her. No one watched her do the new’s. She was alway’s way back in third place. I have never watched the Revolution but my daughter said she has been stuck with it twice where business keep the tv on all day and it is really boring. If women are home during the day they want their soap’s. Talk show’s are a dime a dozen. I thought I would miss Oprah but once she left I never gave her another thought. I miss my soap’s every single day.

janice
janice

very good article. Too bad ‘the powers that be’ at ABC aren’t doing the same…..or are they, finally? we’ll see. I sure hope so.

david
david

ABC is not doing the same. The three soaps “eager to share the measures they were taking to remain vital and relevant in television’s changing landscape” didn’t include ABC because ABC doesn’t know how.

janice
janice

I figured as much . That sucks

david
david

After reading in Michael’s latest post (General Hospital wins WGA Award) that ABC was too cheap to buy seats for their nominated writers, I think it is clear ABC/Disney doesn’t give a damn about its last daytime soap. They won’t even engage the media to garner any attention for GH on any level. We can only assume the decision to cancel GH has already been made.

janice
janice

sadly, I think you’re right 🙁

barbara t
barbara t

I hope your wrong.I m trying to stay possitive,I wish abc would just come out and say one way or the other,if the revoultion stays and gh goes ,there are alot of maggots working at abc/disney ,they want more money ,and we lost all of our beloved soaps ,because of greed ,abc/disney does not care about the soap fan base,or for the many people who worked for them .such disrespect.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith

General Hospital chose not to comment because General Hospital will be off the air in September

Heather
Heather

And how do you know that? Care to let us know

lipstickcat
lipstickcat

ABC will not announce GH’s cancellation until the last minute because of the backlash it got the last time from AMC & OLTL fans! If you believe anything they promise you’re stupid! Didn’t you learn they don’t want to be in the soap business! Genie Francis even said this in an interview last year!

Heather
Heather

Judging by your numerous posts I’ve seen from you in the past, it’s obvious that you want General Hospital to be cancelled. I think that you’re jealous that GH was chosen over OLTL. Otherwise you wouldn’t be so obsessed about the demise of General Hospital?

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

Hey Heather: I see you had a little something something of a catfight going on. I’m sure U have read mind. At least you guys made your comments and kept it moving. Im with you Heather, I’m a die yhard GH fan, no matter how bad it is. I love GH. At some point or another, each abc soap has been my favorite soap (when story line dictated) so, I’m not being bias. It has always depended on the storyline(s). OLTL just happened to be the best running soap here of late, and I’m glad it has gotten all the attention it has, being the ‘ middle child ‘ of the abc soaps. Good, the other two abc (soaps) ‘most popular ‘ and ‘over paid big names’ had to stand up and take notice of how powerful MASS APPEAL over weighs superficial popularity.

Shelly
Shelly

I heard the same thing over the weekend.

barbara t
barbara t

where did you hear about this?I heard that abc will let us know in a few weeks ,unless of course you are a fly on the wall at abc/disney.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith

Heather its a fact that Katie Couric’s show will start in September in the 3pm EST time slot so where would GH go? It will be cancelled just like the two previous soaps. ABC wants out of the soap business clearly and will only broadcast talk shows. I don’t have any in the know information this is just obvious. The way ABC lied to everybody about AMC and OLTL i would think you all would not listen to a word they say about GH staying on the air. ABC cares nothing about longtime fans of the soaps and cares only about producing low budget talk shows from here on out.

Heather
Heather

“Heather its a fact that Katie Couric’s show will start in September in the 3pm EST time slot so where would GH go? ”

Have you forgot about the OLTL/Revolution timeslot? I’m not necessarily saying that’s what will happen nor do I deny the POSSIBILITY that General Hospital will be cancelled. But to assume at 100% that General Hospital will be cancelled is foolish in my opinion.

barbara t
barbara t

I dont think that abc wants to pay 30 dollars to the few people who are willing to walk in and watch the revolution, there not even telling the truth on the name of the show ,so general hospital can go on at 2 .I f they dont cancel that show ,mickey mouse should fire everyone who is doing the daytime line up ,because they dont know what there doing ,you shouldnt have to hand over money ,begging people to watch a mystery show, that sucks.and if abc cancels general hospital and keeps the revolution.you have to wonder,what the hell is going on at abc/disney?

kay killgore
kay killgore

Unless I am wrong AMC was moved to LA to help with budgets etc and the actors were told to move and it would be saved so I am trying to figure out Mr. Scotts comment? And was AMC given 18 month’s warning I thought the actors uprooted and then got the rug pulled out from under them someone correct me if I am wrong.

barbara t
barbara t

your right kay killgore,when everyone moved to la they all thought this move would help to save money,I dont under stand that because it costs a fortune to move across country ,Ive done it 3 times but north to south,they had no Idea abc/disney were going to kill the soaps ,they were all caught off guard and that weasel frons did it at a meeting ,that he didnt attend ,I heard he tapped it ,he didnt tell them the soaps were over in person,they watched it on a t v.can you believe that? some of the cast were with abc for 40 years ,what a way to hear you have been fired.abc didnt give them a warning,they were told to watch the spending.I dont know who the head honchos are over at abc but they dont give a rats ass about people ,doesnt matter who you are.

krktoday?
krktoday?

Another thing that was so unfair to the AMC cast was many probably sold their home’s at a loss in this economy in New York just to find out they didn’t have job’s in LA. If they had been told this might happen they may have kept their home’s in case they wanted to go back to New York and do stage play’s.

Heather
Heather

Actually, Frons told the cast of All My Children in person.

It’s the cast of One Life to Live that were notified on video because the show is based in New York while Frons and All My Children were based in Los Angeles.

krktoday?
krktoday?

I am positive Susan Lucci didn’t get 24 hour’s notice. She was telling a crowd of fan’s AMC wasn’t going anywhere a week before the show was canceled. GL cast was told on April 1st they would wrap up the show Sept 18th. That is 5 month’s. Quite a stretch from 18 month’s.

krktoday?
krktoday?

I think the soaps need to inject more humor into their drama’s. Back in the 80’s when GH ruled the soap world they had so much humor with people like luke and Laura Lucy Coe and Kevin. Now it is how many people can we have to do a complete meltdown in one day or how many can we shoot. Who can do the best depressing cancer storyline. When we watch the soaps we want to see rich people conniving each other, or something that makes up laugh and forget we are home unemployed. It used to be the rich people we dreamed of being against the poor people who often were winning with some humor thrown in. When was the last time we laughed at someone on GH? Everyone on the whole show is miserable or about to be killed or both. The only romantic couple’s on the show are probably going to be killed at their wedding if they ever make it there. Real romance and humor is just lost these day’s.

barbara t
barbara t

I take it you never watched one life to live,the writers were very good with romance and real comedy.now that the writers from one life to live are at general hospital,maybe we will see it in port charles again ,I hope so.

krktoday?
krktoday?

Yes I did watch OLTL every single day and I loved it. I was mostly talking about GH. It used to have some really enjoyable laugh out loud scene’s and in the past few year’s it has been nothing but serious. If a person was depressed they sure better not tune into that show for a lift. I have watched GH since 1963 so I don’t like to complain about it but it is just one person after another having a melt down. If they do have a wedding you can just count on someone getting shot. I am hoping the OLTL writer’s will change that. It does seem like the show is getting a little better now

Emily
Emily

So true, so true!!! I taped OLTL & GH daily (loyal to GH), but that’s why I was taping OLTL the last 8 – 9 yrs or so. I had always watched OLTL on and off, mostly on. But the last 8 or 9 yrs I fell in love b/c of the writing (humor and drama, creatively mixed). I was like wow, that was a great show!!! GH was becoming dark and I was getting a kick out of OLTL. Still in mourning….

Debi
Debi

How depressing GH wouldn’t participate!!!!!! 🙁

barbara t
barbara t

interesting ,general hospital news over at soaptown usa (loose lips) ,go there every week, looks like alot of good changes happening in port charles ,cant wait,and I hope the rumors of kassie depava and roger howarth staying on general hospital is true.

Dee
Dee

I think Y and R will survive if MAB and her crew of hacks are replaced..she has ruined my Y and R and I barely watch anymore and I might add 7 of my friends have abandoned Y and R too and its sad as we used to watch it faithfully until MS Bell decided that only a few couples are worthy of writing for.

Jules
Jules

It was reassuring to read what an NBC head honcho had to say. Keep up the good work DAYS!

cathy trinque
cathy trinque

Days is a great soap! I hope it stays around to make up for the loss of AMC. Of course, ABC declines to participate. ABC execs are ignorant and arrogant!!!

LUMI
LUMI

I love Days and hope its here to stay for 50 more years,but Corday said he was going to try to keep it on the air to it see’s 50 years,and its been here sence Nov: 1965.
I know we all love our soaps and not everyone watch the same soap,but when
Another world went off the air,I cryed for weeks,but I got over it,but I still miss it everyday,that was the soap my mama and I watched and Days was too,my mama is gone now,but she is still watching Days everday with me 🙂

Heather
Heather

With the ratings GH and Days have right now, I don’t see either show celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Heather
Heather

With the ratings GH and Days have right now, I don’t see either show celebrating their 50th anniversary.

LUMI
LUMI

IF Days can hung in there 3 more year they will have 50 years 🙂
I hope they make it 🙂

Carole
Carole

I started watching AMC when I stayed home when my first child was born and I quickly became hooked. I just LOVED watching beautiful well-dressed people living glamorous lives during this phase of my life. Thanks to my VCR and my DVR, I never had to miss an episode when I returned to work. All My Children had tons of humor and dealt with topical issues like Aids, Homosexuality, Prostitution,etc. with wit and class. When I envision Disney now I see not Mickey Mouse but a big ugly rat with a resemblance of Brainless Frons.

barbara t
barbara t

same with me,disney should never have bought abc ,they use to be good to the soaps then slowly they started to go downhill in the writing and time spent advertizing them ,the nurses ball ,the soap thing in orlando ,so much more .brainless frons isnt the only problem abc has ,the problem is they want to put the cheapest programming on to put money in there pockets and because of that there shows arent anything special anymore ,the soaps were a big part of my life ,I was a faithful viewer .and I wont watch talk,food or dumb reality shows of any kind ,there all over the place ,so abc has nothing to offer me as a viewer, they had me for 49 years ,im done with them except for general hospital.

Rob
Rob

MARIA ARENA BELL, If you want to keep viewers you need to start reading these message boards and start listening to what the fans are saying!!

NO MORE DAISY!

NO MORE STUNT CASTING!

PAY ATTENTION AND HONOR THE HISTORY OF THE SHOW!

Jared
Jared

I second that!

Cindy Longstreth
Cindy Longstreth

It’s so sad ABC/Disney threw away they best the ever had. They never realized that theses were not just people or cast or charters to us, they were our Family’s. Part of our every day existence, they helped us cope with problems in our own lives along with great stories , humor and drama.We NEEDED them we LOVED them and we still do! It doesn’t matter what we say or do to them because they don’t care about us but what they don’t realize is how much they meant to us. I’m afraid that in a few months they are going to find out because a sharp pain and emptiness we have be left with could fester and many fans could start “going postal”. These idiots really need to pay attention to all of these grieving people!

RJ4
RJ4

I think if the remaining soap operas develop good story lines and characters by either keeping them real and relevant to the world today, or they come up with imaginative stories that keep you guessing and wanting to come back for more they may get enough of an audience to stay on the air. With all of the challenges and stresses of life today, it is nice to have an afternoon break for romance, fantasy , escape, – watch other people work through their problems that you can either relate to or say – their problems are worse than mine :). Regarding the Chew, I feel like how many food shows can you watch and have on day after day. For example, Days has improved considerably this year – they have a combination of some real life relevant story lines – Will’s coming out, mayoral race, and some escape stories – so it seems viewers are happier with the show now.

jenna k.
jenna k.

please dont let them get rid of days of our lives.i love the show dont replace it with some 24hour kiddie channel

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Lucas Says Goodbye To Salem, While Julie Recalls Coming Back To Town

In a very touching episode of Days of our Lives, Tuesday brought with it an emotional goodbye from exiting fan favorite Bryan Dattilo (Lucas), and the soap paying homage to Susan Seaforth Hayes’ 50th anniversary to the day as Julie.

It begins in Horton Town Square where Julie next to the plaque dedicated to her grandparents, Tom and Alice Horton, has a flash back to phone call with Tom five decades ago.

Meanwhile, now broken up with Chloe, and ready to leave Salem to be with his daughter, Allie, Lucas tells Will he is leaving and that he is happy Will and Sonny found their way back to each other.  The two hug it out, and tell each other how proud they are of one another.  Next, Lucas goes to visit his mother, Kate.  In a touching exchange played by Dattilo and Lauren Koslow, viewers were treated to Kate’s pain of the mistakes she made as a mother, and Lucas being forgiving of her.

At Doug’s Place, Julie and Abigail try to figure out how to bring down Stefan and Gabi.  Julie promises to not tell anyone that Abigail is not mentally ill saying. “Your secret is safe with me.”  Next, Chloe happens upon the scene and Julie quickly sees Chloe break down in tears.  She then reveals to Julie, that she and Lucas broke up.  Julie gives Chloe a tissue and some words of advice – the gospel according to Julie – that they were not meant to be, and that Chloe will find true love. After all, after Julie’s other failed relationships, once she was with Doug she found her soulmate, so she knows it can happen.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Julie flashes back to speaking with Alice when she worries that Tom would not want her to return to Salem.  For Julie had been in San Francisco, and where she brings up putting her son up for adoption, but how she later raised him and how happy that Eli is her grandson.  She even recalls when JJ got her and other ladies in Salem accidentally high on pot-filled donuts!

When Lucas turns up at the Horton’s everyone is saddened and shocked that he has decided to depart Salem   Julie says Salem will always be his home.  JJ hands Lucas his ornament now, breaking the Christmas tradition early.  Lucas hangs his ornament in another emotional moment.

Next, we see Lucas waiting for a taxi, with his suitcases at Horton Town Square,  He gazes at the Tom and Alice dedication plaque and says, “I’ll be back. someday.” Hankies!

Alone now with Julie, Doug brings out a cake celebrating how it is 50 years since Julie returned to Salem permanently.  Cue the montage … as Doug’s voice is heard singing “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”, one of the duo’s signature songs, as clips of their love affair played throughout.  We fade to black.

DAYS honored Susan Hayes and gave Brytan Dattilo some heart-tugging moments as he left the canvas as the beloved Lucas.  So what did you think of the episode?  Sad to see Bryan exit?  Happy to see the show wrote in a way to honor Susan’s 50th as Julie? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Gilles Marini Talks The Return Of Ted Laurent, His Co-Stars: Kristian Alfonso, Lauren Koslow & Greg Rikaart On ‘Inside Salem: Days of our Lives’ Podcast’

If you caught this week’s episodes of Days of our Lives, you know that Ted Laurent (Gilles Marini) has resurfaced in Salem and had asked Hope (Kristian Alfonso) for protection from Stefan DiMera, who was responsible for his disappearance in exchange for information on Ben Weston (Rob Scott Wilson).

Now in the latest episode of Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast, actor Gilles Marini chats it up with host, Michael Fairman on what to expect as Ted’s story brings with it many twists and turns; including a potential love triangle.

Marini reveals what he thinks Ted’s weakness ia when the guy has not previously been on the up and up, plus his thoughts on working with three of his co-stars and their characters: Lauren Koslow’s Kate, Kristian Alfonso’s Hope, and Greg Rikaart’s Leo, whom he has shared up to now most of his screen-time.

The talented actor who hails from France, also talks on some other highlights in his career, including one of his big breaks on the beloved ABC drama,  Brothers & Sisters working opposite Rachel Griffiths, and a host of award-winning actors, including Sally Field, and of course, his time on Dancing with the Stars where he became one of the most popular celebrity contestants on the series of all-time.

Later, in the podcast’s dressing room segment, Eric Martsolf (Brady) welcomes Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe) into his digs at DAYS, and then two tease some upcoming #Broe moments.

Check out this excerpt from NBC of Gilles interview below.  Then, make sure to head over to NBC.com to listen to the episode currently streaming there, and on Monday, looks for this episode to be available on all pod platforms, including iTunes for download.

Now, let us know what you think about Ted’s return to DAYS … and if you want him to romance Hope … become a good guy … or get his comeuppance … or all of the above …via the comment section below!

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Days of our Lives and General Hospital Receive Daytime Drama WGA Award Nominations

The nominations have been announced for the 2019 Writer’s Guild Awards for outstanding achievement in television, new media, news, radio/audio, and promotional writing during 2018.

Winners will be honored at the 2019 Writers Guild Awards on Sunday, February 17, 2019, at concurrent ceremonies in New York City and Los Angeles.

In the Daytime Drama category for writing, two soaps will face-off for the prize; NBC’s Days of our Livers and ABC’s General Hospital.  Here are the official nominated head writers and their teams.

Days of Our Lives, Head Writer: Ron Carlivati; Writers: Sheri Anderson, Lorraine Broderick, David Cherrill, Joanna Cohen, Lisa Connor, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon,  Cydney Kelley, David Kreizman, David A. Levinson, Rebecca McCarty, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Katherine Schock, Elizabeth Snyder, Tyler Topits.

General Hospital, Head Writers: Shelly Altman, Christopher Van Etten; Writers:Barbara Bloom, Anna Theresa Cascio, Suzanne Flynn, Charlotte Gibson, Lucky Gold, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Donny Sheldon, Scott Sickles.

To check out all the nominations click here.

So, who are you rooting for to take the WGA Award; Days or GH? Comment below.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

  • Soaphound: “Valid point, Violet. And I do find Carly & Sonny more bearable separately than together. Even Sonny encouraging…
  • Soaphound: “Celia, Kerry reminds me of what the Statue of Liberty would be like if it were made of ice, through…
  • Soaphound: “I'm in the same place as you, Kevin. I started watching in 1974, in high school, and have never…
  • Soaphound: “Celia -- Nausea Alert! I just returned from my semi-annual doctor visit. Everything was okay... until I came home…
  • Celia: “Awwww, Kevin!! Don't you see? The reason you haven't stopped watching is because Y&R is part of your life. LOL.…
Advertisement

Power Performance

Maura West as Ava

General Hospital

Airdates: 11-29/30-26-2018

Advertisement

Popular