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Retro TV Production Executive Gives Details On Acquisition & Re-Airing Of NBC's Classic Soap THE DOCTORS!

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

Fans of On-Air On-Soaps were very excited last week when we brought them news that Retro TV is going to be airing re-runs of the classic NBC soap opera, The Doctors that starred among others:  James Pritchett, Elizabeth Hubbard, David O’Brien, Carolee Campbell, Alec Baldwin, Kathleen Turner, Kim Zimmer and many more!

Classic TV motion picture and television journalist, Will McKinley chatted with Retro TV’s Vice President of Production, Matthew Golden to get some answers to some burning questions about the acquisition and plans for the re-airing of The Doctors slated sometime this fall.   Here are some excerpts below!

During their conversation, Golden revealed that as far as from what year the episodes will begin, he revealed: “We will begin with the 1967 season, which is the first of the show to be produced in color.”

As to what day part The Doctors will air and how often, Golden stated:  “We’re still in the process of assembling all of the assets; this extends somewhat to the schedule for it, but as it stands right now, we plan to double-strip it Monday through Friday in the early afternoons. (Editor’s Note: “double-strip” means two episodes will air back-to-back) … There are a great number of episodes, and even double-stripping the series would run over six years with no repetition. We are committed to the series, and our commitment, like all networks’, is rooted in favorable response. That said, this is not a test: we will be running the episodes we’ve licensed, and if the response is good, then we’ll renew and continue.”

As to how soap fans can best get Retro TV in their area, Golden commented:  “Retro TV is a broadcast network, not direct to cable, satellite, or Internet. We require local stations to affiliate with us on one of their channels, and often cable or satellite providers in those markets pick up and serve the channel on their offerings. The best way to get Retro TV in your area is to call and write your local TV stations and let them know that you want Retro TV. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve welcomed new affiliates in Albuquerque/Santa Fe (KYNM) and Tri-Cities, TN-VA (WLFG), and next week should hopefully bring even more. Stations have been very receptive and excited about the new programming coming to Retro TV.”

Now the question is, if The Doctors is a success could Retro TV become a home to other favorite soaps of the past?  And what do you think about the year start date of the first year The Doctors was in color …  the day part …  and trying to get affiliates in your area to add Retro TV?  Weigh-in!

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jimh(leave it to beaver)denise SmithJDMBmomof34ever DAYS Recent comment authors
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4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

I hope The Doctors does well…then maybe I can see DAYS from the beginning! I don’t care if it’s black & white or bad picture quality, just as long as I can see and hear the first 18 years of DAYS. Please!!!

Note: I’m aware that DAYS premiered in color and all the episodes survive. I’m not sure if all the color episodes survive though. A large amount of them could be Kinescope (black & white copies). Is there anybody that can give definitive answers on the subject?

Michael Fairman: Please ask Ken Corday about the DOOL library. Thank you.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Doctors was a great soap back in the 60s to mid 70s…i wont give any plots away…Anna Stuart who played Toni is so young but she wont appear until the early 70s and Gil Gerard who plays Alan in the mid 70s stared in primetimes Buck Rogers…i got to see Days from the beginning(i missed much because my parents just had to send me to school…lol) and i hope its repeated too…black and white, color, or on kinescope ill take them any way i can…Alice, Tom, Tommy, Kitty, Addie, Ben, Steve, Julie, Mickey, Bill, Laura, Diane, Susan, Marie, Craig, Tony, Linda, David, Micheal, Linda, Greg, Eric, Bob, Phylis, Mary, the Grants, Amanda, Robert, Trish…and so many more from the 18 years you missed i hope you get to see…i still like Days but those early years the show was more grounded and realistic…youll see why Doug and Julie…my all time favorite super couple…and the show made it on the cover of Time magazine…even the sets were better back then including Maggies farmhouse…and long before he became Victor K. youll see John Aniston in his early Days role…hope The Doctors repeats are a success and Days will be the next to be repeated…too bad AW early years were erased…it was so cool back in the 1970s and Edge of Night too…

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Soapnet should have been the one to do this but im glad another cable channel is giving it a shot…

davlestev1
davlestev1

1975-1977 just prior to creating Luke and Laura on GH along with Bobbie Spencer and the Quarermaines..the late great (I followed him to every soap) Douglass Marland was head writer of The Doctors. I so hope this show extends long enough to see this period of writing. I watched on and off but by that time I was watching Love of Life fade out…all into Ryan’s Hope and not missing ONE moment of One Life to Live. Gosh I remember jumping off that school bus and a lot of us neighborhood kids busting through our front doors and straight to the TV for the end of the soap day which didn’t conclude till 4:30 or 5:00 pm at one point in the afternoon.

davlestev1
davlestev1

I meant to say Quartermaines…but oh well. Back in those days you watched what your friends mom’s watched especially in the summer when you were running around the neighborhood streets. Or you would be talking about shows and a friend would ask have you seen such and such…and they made it sound so good because something big was happening and you had the luxury of watching through the arc and going back to your show…not liking that shows arc for one reason or another and going back to that new show and sampling the other shows around it and on and on…WHY??? WHYYYY??? WHYYYYYYYYYY???? Give me back my AFTERNOONS!!!!

davlestev1
davlestev1

I remember one of my good friends insisting I watch As The World Turns because of Joyce Coleman and it was all she would talk about until one afternoon I watched the show of that shooting where Joyce came down the steps intending to shoot one person and shot another person by mistake which I’m almost sure were the Hughes brothers and for years I went back and forth to that show until 1986 and the Sabrina/Kim/Doug storyline and LISA BROWN….OH WELL…that’s what news of a 60’s replay will do to one.

JeffyJC
JeffyJC

I hope it is a success. ME TV will be airing Dark Shadows in the future maybe 2015, but they have not said yet. My one thing is I don’t think it is a good idea to strip the show during the hours that the 4 current soaps are airing, That would limit the audience not grow it. You want the people who are watching the 4 current soaps to watch The Doctors, not to compete with them. I know when the shows air on the East coast nationally between 12:30 PM and 3PM So I would place it after or before the current ones.

Amy Cooper
Amy Cooper

Agreed! I hope my area gets this station and it is successful enough that they air more shows!

Ruth
Ruth

Dark Shadows was one of my favorites- there were so many- I’m just hoping I will be able to see the retro shows as I only have an aerial 🙁

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Yes, it would be a big mistake to air it against the current four and i hope they are wise to air the show a little later…i want it to succeed so maybe other serials like Dark Shadows, Strange Paradise, Days, and others that still have their episodes like Ryans Hope, Santa Barbara and Passions can find a new home and new fans!!!

su0000
su0000

you guys will love it!! have fun!!
I never heard of the Doctors..

In college we had a Dark Shadows night, sorta like The Rocky Horror Picture Show ..
But– believe me when I say; we did not watch it live/in current time, most weren’t born yet- ahaa..
I do not recall but believe it was via DVD..
Now, that was an awesome soap !!!! I really liked it!!
but- there was no real ending . now that stank ..

CeeCee
CeeCee

Not every New England state starts airing soaps at 12:30 PM. Some start as early as noon.

Michael (not Fairman)
Michael (not Fairman)

I agree it would probably be a mistake to air it at the same time that the current soaps are airing, but on the other hand, I personally would watch it over any of the current four, so . . .

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

My love of soaps began with Dark Shadows. I hope it’s true because I get ME TV, but I don’t get retro TV. I would gladly tune into a classic soap, such as The Doctors.

Sharon
Sharon

I’m very excited! Never thought I’d be watching this soap again in my lifetime! I enjoyed it in my early teens with my Mother & my Aunt, both of whom had ‘crushes’ on Dr. Matt Powers/James Pritchett & I can hear them now gushing over him! I will be watching definitely!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I used to watch it with my mother when i was home from school…i cant wait to see it again!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Micheal, can you interview former surving members of this show and get their opinion on it being repeated…i know James Pritchett, Lydia Bruce, David Obrien, Gerald Gordon, Geraldine Court, and a few others are no longer with us but there are others still with us like Liz Hubbard, Carolee Cambell, Jada Rowland, Julia Duffy, Anna Stuart, Gil Gerard, Armand Asante, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Hougton ect…i think i got there names right…thats if they are able and willing to do it…thanks!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Just googled some former cast members and learned Meg Mundy(exMona Croft) is still with us and 99 years old…must be the oldest surviving actor/actress from any daytime drama!!!

su0000
su0000

I did the look up;
the list does NOT have Retro TV .. zero .. you need to get it to see it 🙂

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

North Dakota

Rhode Island

Nebraska

Minnesota

Maryland

Massachusetts

Indiana

Delaware

Alaska

Arizona

su0000
su0000

Retro TV is a broadcast channel, not a cable channel. It is usually broadcasted by a local TV station on one of their secondary channels. Some cable providers do carry it.
RetroTV is a BROADCAST network. Comcast can only add it if one of your local broadcast channels carries it, and there is an agreement with Comcast to carry that channel or subchannel.
So, it must be the same with the other cable providers..

Johnny
Johnny

I find it a curious choice…I am not opposed to it by any means. Its just that there are so many soaps that fans are clamoring to see like Texas, Santa Barbara, Another World, Ryan’s Hope etc. I hope it does well and that it opens the doors for other soaps to be placed on their schedule or any other network. I don’t understand why…with the hundreds and hundreds of channels…there is no all soap channel of defunct soaps. Anyone who says it wouldn’t work is wrong!! It could give old soaps new life and even possibly provide a platform for some new original programming. One thing I have noticed watching YouTube clips of Santa Barbara is how good the writing was!!! Not always the long term plotting…but the day to day writing and the dialogue was often times breathtaking!!!! It was equal parts Greek tragedy, comedy, soap opera, and even Shakespearean at times. I was very young when it was on and I loved it but as an adult now I can appreciate the writing so much more. I really believe the first nail in the coffin of that beloved show was recasting and then killing Joe. That show was built around Joe and Kelly and the chemistry between Robin and Dane was off the charts! They should have went the distance. Also…looking back…the show got a little too much into rape. 1985 had Peter as the Carnation Killer/rapist. 1985 had Steve who raped Christy. 1986 had Mark rape Mary. 1987 had the pillowcase rapist who raped Hayley. 1988 had Eden’s rape. I think 1989 was rape free. 1990 had Dash rape Julia. 1992 revealed that BJ had been raped repeatedly as a child. Little bit of overkill there. That aside, the show was unmatched in its brilliance and Emmy awards. No show that aired for 8.5 years won as many Emmy’s or had as much critical acclaim as Santa Barbara. Per capita…it is the Emmy champ. I would watch it again. It was taken off of my affiliate station in early 1991 so I missed the last two years. Reading synopses in soap magazines…it didn’t sound like I missed much. The Cassandra debacle…being Minx’s daughter…. How old was Minx when she gave birth to the 30 something Cassandra…60? But anyway I got off topic. Make an all soap channel. The end.

su0000
su0000

well. about the rape stories..
All, ALL, the soaps from around 85 to 90 were doing rape stories, they were very popular lol.. Rape amaina ..!
Kept the fans tuned in mostly from hate and pity .. and it worked..
Also-
yes there are many soaps that could be brought back as retro reruns, thing is- most networks will not touch the soaps new or old..,..
and the licensing to re-air them is complicated..

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

The Doctors is one of those rare soaps with most of its episodes from the golden era of daytime drama unlike Another World with almost all of its early episodes from the 60s and 70s erased and reused to save money…those were the years AW was at its best and at the top of the ratings…episodes from the 80s to cancellation should be available but except for the Jake/Vicki and Cass/Frankie storylines AW started go downhill and it showed in the ratings especially in the 90s when they foolishly killed off Frankie then brought on her lookalike and also wrote the worse plotline ever with Cass and a gorila who was in love with him which i vote as the worse in daytime and what killed this classic soap…id watch repeats if AW had all its episodes…the stories when it was about the Mathews family and their friends, scheming Iris(played by the late Beverly Mckinsey) and the greatest love triangle ever with Steve, Alice, and Rachel, the show was at its best during those years but will never be seen again due to network wiping practices…some of AW was good in the 80s and i might watch some of it again but my interest isnt there…as much as it would have had those earlier episodes been available…my favorite story was when evil Cory caretaker Sven was causing a lot of problems and villainous Olive and her lover Evan Webster!!! But id love to see Santa Barbara, Passions, Texas, Strange Paradise, Ryans Hope, and primetimes Peyton Place who have all their episodes like The Doctors…id settle for Edge Of Night even if most of that show is not available…i loved Sharon Gabet as Raven Alexander Jamison Swift Whytney Whytney!!!

Eric Buchanan
Eric Buchanan

In terms of the choice, as I recall The Doctors was a Colgate/Palmolive show. Maybe they are more willing to license it at a reasonable fee than Proctor and Gamble or ABC, who own many of the others you mentioned.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

4Got to mention…yes, id like to see another soap channel too…they could have a show called the ‘Soap Hour’ that shows vintage clips and episides that manage to survive the wiping process and shortlived series like Never Too Young and do interviews with former soap stars and where they are now…maybe with new actors recreate scenes from missing soap episodes if old scripts are available…id like that…i miss soapnet!!!

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

Good ideas, jimh!!!

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

I miss Soapnet so much.

denise Smith
denise Smith

yes!!

KateA
KateA

I have a station not too far from me. Comcast does not carry them. Trying to contact local station to see if I am within range to use antenna tv. I have been requesting Comcast add them but they say to contact local station. I sure hope I can figure this out before they start airing them. I sure wish they had an app so I could watch on my iPad! I really would love watching The Doctors!

Rob
Rob

Too bad P&G turned its back on the medium that made them succesful, maybe we’d get reruns of GL and ATWT among others.

JD
JD

I think great things could come from this, but, I really wish you would start this show from the beginning. Perhaps those eps are no longer available, but it would be cool to begin right from the start. Jumping into the usual myriad soap operas become, joining THE DOCTORS midstream may be a tad confusing.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I wish theyd start from the begining but i feel starting it where they plan will not be any less different to the soap viewer than a new soap fan who just tuned in to any one of the four remaining soaps without watching from the begining…you gradually get to know the characters and the plots…seeing The Doctors again starting from the 1967 is a lot better than not at all…maybe they’ll eventually put the entire series on dvd!!!

denise Smith
denise Smith

that is so cool!! Bring them all back. I’d so enjoy Edge of Night and Secret Storm!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Both of those series had most of their episodes erased and reused…The Doctors luckily survived…Edge last 6 years should be available…only a handful of its pre 1978 episodes are known to survive and im certain most of the Secret Storm is also gone forever…only a few episodes survive as well…sad!!!

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