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UPDATED "Sex & Death in the Afternoon – An Oral History of the American Soap Opera" featuring many Daytime notables!

Sex and Death in the Afternoon – An Oral History of the American Soap Opera is an uncensored history of the rise and fall of the soaps from some very unique perspectives that is out on newsstands now in the Sept/Oct 2001 issue of Mental Floss Magazine. Written by Los Angeles Times journalist, Lisa Rosen, this piece takes a chronological look at the origin of the soaps through its glory years and heyday, all the way to modern times where each year we have been saying farewell to legacy daytime dramas.  Many issues are raised including: who caused the downfall, how soaps affected the culture, and can they bounce back!

And what a cast of characters that participated in interviews for the Mental Floss feature in which some amazing, zany, humorous, shocking and heart-tugging quotes are culled from that take the readers on the journey of all the decades of the soap genre. They include: Days of our Lives, executive producer, Ken Corday, and co-executive producer, Greg Meng,  Wendy Riche, (former EP of General Hospital),  Don Hastings (Ex- Bob Hughes, ATWT), Chris Goutman (Ex-EP, ATWT), William Reynolds, writer and Edge of Night Superfan , Kimberly McCullough (Robin, GH), Jackie Zeman (Bobbie, GH) , Erika Slezak (Viki, OLTL), Kay Alden (former head writer Y&R, now with B&B), Tina Sloan (Ex-Lillian, GL) Eden Riegel, (Ex-Bianca, AMC, now Heather, Y&R) Julie Hanan Carruthers (EP, AMC), Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes (Doug and Julie, DAYS), Sam Ford  (Co-editor, The Survival of Soap Opera), Roger Newcomb, (WeLoveSoaps.net), Stephanie Sloane (Editorial Director, Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly) Tristan Rogers (Ex-Scorpio, GH, now, Colin, Y&R), Genie Francis (Ex- Laura, GH, now Genevieve, Y&R), Suzanne Rogers (Maggie, DAYS), Barbara Bloom (Former CBS Senior Vice President), Frank Valentini (EP, OLTL), and On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman.

There are so many delicious quotes from everyone in the soap biz, that you should get your copy of the magazine and/or go to the Mental Floss website for more info. Below are just a few excerpts included in the article to give you a sense of the piece.  We will to post more quotes for you in the coming days.  But for now you can also take an exclusive look at the first part of the feature “The Addiction Years” by clicking here!

Part 1- The Addiction Years (1932-1963)

Wendy Riche: – “Soaps first came into my consciousness when I moved back in with my parents – pregnant and not married.   My mother was watching Days of our Lives, and she said, “Ooh, look Wendy, they’ve got a story on that’s just like you!”

Part II – Leave No Taboo Unbroken (1962-1972)

Michael Fairman – “Erica Kane had daytime TV’s first legal abortion on All My Children (1973).  It was like, they’re going to tell an abortion story? And use Erica Kane? But they botched it years later – the storyline, not the abortion – by negating that it was an abortion. Instead it turned out she’d had a demon seed child.”

Kimberly McCullough – (Regarding the ABC Afterschool Spin-off with her and Michael Stone during the GH AIDS storyline called, “Positive: A Journey into AIDS” where in it they visited a hospice) “There was this guy there, Lewis, who I connected with right away.  He was going blind, so I was reading to him. I went back for the taping and I found out he had died a few days before.  They hadn’t told me because they wanted to get my reaction on camera. I was so pissed off at the producers for putting me in that position that I almost didn’t finish the special.  I didn’t want to be used as an actor playing a character to represent something. It became about me at that moment.”

Part III – The Go-Go Glory Years (1973-1999)

Erika Slezak – “I think the writers got bored and they thought, oh Christ, what can we do now? They came up with ridiculous stories.  There was one called “Eterna” where we found an underground city, and nine of us fell through a rabbit hole and spent months there.  They had a story where I was hypnotized to kill my son.  I went to them and said, “This is horrible.

Chris Goutman – “I think Luke and Laura’s wedding was when soap opera took a wrong turn. We started chasing this chimera, instead of trying to be true to our roots.”

Tristan Rogers: “When Elizabeth Taylor came on the show (GH), I had a one-on-one scene with her.  She had all the dialogue down. a total pro.  She walks on with a drink in her hand, and I’ve got my prop drink.  I said, “What did they give you to drink?”  She said, “Some of that stuff there.”  Piled against one wall was this pink Dom Perignon. She said, “You Want a hit? Drain it!”  I drained it, thanks.  So we’re having our little fun.  Gloria Monty comes out onto the set.  Of course, she wasn’t going to chew Elizabeth out, so she said to me, “Tristan, this is a professional show, you’re wasting our time.”  And Liz turned to her and said, “Who do you think you’re talking to?” I had close-ups of the back of my shoes for about a month.

PART IV – Daytime Turns to Twilight (2000-Present)

Don Hastings – “CBS didn’t even say goodbye to us after 50 years.  There was nothing to anybody on the show who had served on it, any kind of official, “Gee, we’re sorry, and good luck.” The show itself gave the cheapest party I’ve ever been to. Just a very sad end.  That’s the part I don’t miss.”

Julie Hanan Carruthers – “I’m a little shell-shocked. I feel part of the cultural fabric of what I’ve grown up with is disintergrating and changing.”

Erika Slezak: “I think that Brian Frons, the head of ABC Daytime, doesn’t believe in the genre.  He never believed they could last. My biggest objection is ABC saying people don’t want entertainment anymore, they want information. That’s ridiculous. People always want entertainment.”

Chris Goutman: “We knew that when Guiding Light went off, our days (on As the World Turns) were numbered.  I was bawling like a baby when they announced it.”

Soap Opera Moving to the Web

Frank Valentini –  “Our Society underestimates the attention span of people on the Internet.  It’s a different platform, but it’s still entertainment.  I think a longer form will work.  It’s obvious where the technology is going, and people aren’t getting tired of looking at nice, large, beautiful screens.”

So as Prospect Park enters the soap arena on the web, and we are left with four network soaps, where do you stand on the future of the American soap opera? Let us know! And make sure to pick up your copy of Mental Floss!

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ethel
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ethel

i agree with all the listed quotes and all i can say at this point is WOW!!!

kay killgore
Guest
kay killgore

May I add my own they refuse to work out contracts with characters we love and then bring on six new ones why ! Let’s be honest who gives a flying whoop about the Ford brothers Cutter Aubrey etc no wonder OLTL got canceled! Then they insult an actor that made Todd his own by bringing back the original who left of his own accord and rewrite history! Stupid! And MAB is ruining Y&R and they are allowing her to do it I’m sorry I could care less about talk shows or cooking shows how many ways can you cook… Read more »

LUMI
Guest
LUMI

well we just have to face it fans,day time soaps will be all gone in afew….
when I frist started watching soaps in the 60’s they were on every ch: from 10am to 4pm

Blake
Guest
Blake

There is so much disrespect from the producers and suits at all the networks. I hate hearing that quote from Don about ATWT’s goodbye party. There was a long time where daytime shows paid for the nighttime show’s budgets. But when they aren’t bringing in the money it’s like “we are done with you, we are going to make sure your show gets cancelled, get out!”
One day when all these other show’s tank there will be a demand for daytime soaps again. At least I hope so!

david
Guest
david

You quote Erika Slezak: “My biggest objection is ABC saying people don’t want entertainment anymore, they want information. That’s ridiculous. People always want entertainment.”

EXACTLY. Television would be better if Erika were in charge of programming.

Lawrence
Guest
Lawrence

It’s all in the numbers and they are dictating the end of the genre, at least as we have known it.

All My Children

Kelly Ripa’s First Book On the Way in 2022

Former All My Children star, now co-host of Live with Kelly and Ryan and a successful executive producer in her own right, Kelly Ripa, will add writer to her list of credits.

New this week is that Ripa is sharing a look at her real-life in a book, that will be released next spring in April of 2022.

According to the intel, the book entitled Live Wire will feature sharp, funny, and honest collection of real-life stories from Ripa, showing the many dimensions and crackling wit of the beloved daytime talk show host.

As soap fans know, Ripa has been married to Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo, AMC) and the two share three children together.

The loglines for the release share: “In Live Wire, Kelly shows what really makes her tick. As a professional, as a wife, as a daughter and as a mother, she brings a hard-earned wisdom and an eye for the absurdity of life to every minute of every day. It is her relatability in all of these roles that has earned her fans worldwide and millions of followers on social media. Whether recounting how she and Mark really met, the level of chauvinism she experienced on set, how Jersey Pride follows her wherever she goes, and many, many moments of utter mortification (whence she proves that you cannot, in fact, die of embarrassment) Kelly always tells it like it is. Ms. Ripa takes no prisoners.
Surprising, at times savage, a little shameless and always with humor… Live Wire shows Kelly as she really is offscreen—a very wise woman who has something to say.”

So intrigued to read Kelly’s book when it is released next year? Comment below.

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All My Children

All My Children Stars and Eileen Davidson On New Episode of Virtual Game Show “Soap Opera Know-It-All”

Imagine being in the hot seat and having some of your soap opera favorites trying to stump you with trivia, while trying to best your competition.  Well, that’s what four contestants faced as they battled it out in the ultimate soap trivia game, Soap Opera Know-It-All.

The Michael Fairman Channel just released its fifth episode of its season, where in round one of the game play, stars from the beloved All My Children served up the questions including: Cady McClain (Ex-Dixie), Jill Larson (Ex-Opal), Lindsay Korman-Hartley (Ex-Cara), Vincent Irizarry (Ex-David) and Jacob Young (Ex-Y&R).  In addition, the former cast members from Pine Valley also try to stump viewers at home with some additional character-related questions.

Later in the episode, there is a very special appearance by Eileen Davidson (Y&R, Ex-Days, Santa Barbara and B&B).  It is Eileen who reveals and asks the final question of the game to determine the eventual winner.

For this edition, host Michael Fairman welcomed longtime soap fans: Michael Cochran, Sean McKinley, and Robert Davis along with returning champion, David Bursky for this soap deep-dive competition.

Photo: MFTV, Inc.

Trivia questions from the following daytime and primetime soaps were put to the players during the game: All My Children, As the World Turns, Dark Shadows, General Hospital, Knots Landing, Sunset Beach, Days of our Lives, Dynasty, Edge of Night, One Life to Live, Port Charles and The Young and the Restless.

As the series moves through its now back-half of the season, the winning contestant must defeat the competition for the right to move on to the next episode to face three more challengers all in pursuit of the “Know-It-All” title with special soap-related prizes along the way.

Watch the episode below and make sure to subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel for more interviews, music and more.

Now let us know, did you get most of the answers correct? Which question stumped you all the way? Comment below.

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All My Children

Jacob Young, Brytni Sarpy and Jason Cook Working on New Film, ‘Four For Fun’

Check this out! Soap veteran and Daytime Emmy-winner Jacob Young (Ex-AMC, B&B and GH) is producing his first film, that movie is written by and being directed by former Days of our Lives and General Hospital star, Jason Cook.

Now comes word via Instagram that Y&R’s Brytni Sarpy (Elena) is also part of the cast in the indie film, Four For Fun.

Sarpy shared on Instagram “We had all the fun. Love you all. Can’t wait to see this baby fly… 🖤✨🎬 #FourForFun

Meanwhile, Young posted on IG “Producing a movie is no easy task. Films like this are only possible when everyone’s artistic passions are intact and on point. I have to say @brytni @annikafoster @probably_donovan_patton absolutely slayed it (no pun intended) Cast by the one and only @paulruddycasting ! So proud to act with such a talented cast. I’m also incredibly excited to call this the first full-length film I’ve produced on. We couldn’t have done it without the incredible writing, directing, and relentless vision of Jason Cook! Here’s to big things team! More to come!”

The new film also features Annika Foster (Lifetime’s Burning Little Lies) and former Blue’s Clues host Donovan Patton.

Check out the posts from Brytni and Jacob below!

So, are you intrigued to see this film when it makes its debut? Comment below.

 

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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