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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!

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Gman
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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
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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… Read more »

janice
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janice

Amen!!!@

krktoday?
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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… Read more »

janice
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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
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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
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janice

I figured as much . That sucks

david
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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
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janice

sadly, I think you’re right 🙁

barbara t
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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
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Chris Smith

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

Heather
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Heather

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

lipstickcat
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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
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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
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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… Read more »

Shelly
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Shelly

I heard the same thing over the weekend.

barbara t
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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
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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… Read more »

Heather
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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
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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… Read more »

kay killgore
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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
Guest
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… Read more »

krktoday?
Guest
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
Guest
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?
Guest
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?
Guest
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… Read more »

barbara t
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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?
Guest
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… Read more »

Emily
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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
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Debi

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

barbara t
Guest
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
Guest
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
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Jules

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

cathy trinque
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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
Guest
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
Guest
Heather

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

Heather
Guest
Heather

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

LUMI
Guest
LUMI

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

Carole
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Rob
Guest
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
Guest
Jared

I second that!

Cindy Longstreth
Guest
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… Read more »

RJ4
Guest
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… Read more »

jenna k.
Guest
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 Cady McClain & Rob Scott Wilson Talk Being Recasts, All My Children Reboot, Future of Cin & Jennifer’s Bitch-Slap

Current Days of our Lives and former All My Children reboot stars, Cady McClain (Jennifer, Days, Ex-Dixie, AMC) and Rob Scott Wilson (Ben, Days, Ex-Pete AMC) chat with Michael Fairman in an enlightening and exclusive conversation for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.

McClain, who recently took over the role of Days of our Lives beloved heroine Jennifer Horton from mainstay Melissa Reeves (who chose to stay with her family in Nashville during Covid-19 thus forcing the series to recast the role for now) talks about stepping into the key part of the Salem canvas, plus the recent Jennifer/Kate fight over Jack (Matthew Ashford), and how the legacy series is coping with production during Covid-19.

Photo: JPI

Rob, talks about landing the role of Ben; and in an emotional moment reveals how he credits the opportunity to the late producer, Lisa de Cazotte. Wilson also shares his hopes for his Salem alter-ego who is struggling to move on with his life after the supposed death of his wife, Ciara.

The actor also opens up on if DAYS decided to recast the role of Ciara, since Victoria Konefal is not presently with the NBC soap full-time, how he would feel about it and thus the future of Cin.

Photo: JPI

Both Cady and Rob first appeared together in Prospect Park’s online revival of All My Children. In this interview, they discuss how they had high hopes for the continuation of the series, how it ultimately fizzled, and what it was like to be a part of the then, groundbreaking first, for a daytime drama series along with One Life to Live.

Photo: TOLN

In addition, Cady gives the viewer insight on how she runs lines for both DAYS and GH at home with her real-life husband, Jon Lindstrom (Kevin and Ryan, GH), while Rob talks about his recent storyline where Ben was kidnapped and tortured by a vengeful Eve (Kassie DePavia) and much more.

Check out the full chat with Cady and Rob below. Then weigh-in: How would you feel if there was a Ciara recast? What are your hopes for the holidays for Jennifer? What did you think of the stories shared by Cady and Rob in the interview? Comment below, and if you have not done so already make sure to “subscribe” to the Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity interviews.

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Breaking News

Daytime Emmys To Remain Virtual For Upcoming 2021 Ceremony

With an uncertain situation of when live events can get back to normal, or as they have been in the past prior to the coronavirus pandemic, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) announced today that it plans on keeping next year’s Daytime Emmys award show virtual, to allow for the 2022 awards cycle to stay on track.

In fact, all of NATAS’s award ceremonies including: the News and Documentary Emmys, Technology & Engineering Emmys and the Sports Emmys will also remain virtual next year.

The Daytime Emmys became the first major award show to air a virtual presentation that others followed back in late June of this year and aired on CBS.

In a statement, NATAS chairman and CEO Adam Sharp expressed on the organization’s decision:“The current timetables articulated by manufacturers project mass availability of vaccinations for the entire U.S. population by mid-summer 2021, potentially permitting a return to more traditional in-person ceremonies later in the fall. However, we have determined that delaying our 2021 events to possibly allow for a compressed calendar of in-person Emmy ceremonies late in the year would result in unacceptable delays to our awards cycle for 2022. Instead, we have decided to remain “virtual” in the format of our ceremonies for 2021 while relying on a substantially pre-COVID awards calendar. In so doing, we believe we will be best-positioned to return to a full, on-time, traditional schedule of in-person ceremonies in 2022.

The dates currently under consideration for the 48th annual Daytime Emmys which would be via two or three nights of presentations are: a combination of dates from Friday, June 25, Saturday, July 17 and/or Sunday, July 18.

For those entering the competition, the entry deadline is February, 17, 2021 with  the nominations not to come till May or June.

So, what do you think about the Daytime Emmys going virtual again for 2021? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Peter Reckell’s Music Video Debuts For His New Christmas Song ‘Under the Mistletoe’

On Friday, beloved Days of our Lives favorite, Peter Reckell’s (Ex-Bo Brady) new music video dropped for his Christmas song “Under the Mistletoe”.

The track is featured on the holiday album JOY and was written by Peter’s wife, singer/songwriter/producer Kelly Moneymaker.

Courtesy/BlueAeris

The album features various artists along with Peter and Kelly from New Zealand, and the music video was shot against the backdrop of the beautiful country.

You can find out more about the album project here  via BlueAeris.com

Reckell previewed the music video and the making of it with Michael Fairman during his recent interview for the Michael Fairman Channel.

Peter is holding a Q&A via Twitter on Saturday US time and Sunday New Zealand and Australian time, where you can ask him your questions!  Information is below.

To stream or download the album, Joy, you can find it on several major music streaming platforms here.

Now below check out Peter’s music video… and his chat with Michael Fairman following it.

Then, let us know what you thought of the music video via the comment section below.

 


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