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

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 chicken? Very Sad.

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

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!

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.

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

51st Daytime Emmys: Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa Receive Talk Show Host Nominations

On Thursday, nominations were announced in the Outstanding Talk Show category for the upcoming 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards. 

Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo, All My Children) coming off his first-year as co-host of ‘Live” with real-life wife, Kelly Ripa scored his first Talk Show Host nomination along with Ripa who has been nominated previous times.

Joining Mark and Kelly in the race are: Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Alyssa Farah Griffin, Sara Haines, Sunny Hostin, Ana Navarro, The View
Kelly Clarkson, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, Jerry O’Connell, Sheryl Underwood, The Talk and
Tamron Hall, Tamron Hall.

Photo: CBS

As previously reported, The Talk is coming to its end when its upcoming 15th and final season ends in December of 2024.

The 51st annual Daytime Emmys are slated to be broadcast and stream live on CBS and Paramount+ on Friday night, June 7th

Look for the full list of nominations to drop on Friday morning at 12 noon ET/9 am PT.

So, are you rooting for Kelly and Mark to win their first Talk Show host award together? Comment below.

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All My Children

Mark Consuelos Celebrates One-Year Anniversary as Co-Host of ‘Live’ Alongside Kelly Ripa

Today, April 17th marks a full-year since Mark Consuelos (ex-Mateo, All My Children) took over the co-hosting duties of ‘Live” alongside his wife, and longtime co-host, Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley, All My Children).

Consuelos replaced Ryan Seacrest who are six seasons decided to be back on the west coast full-time. For Consuelos, now having the opportunity to work off of Ripa as co-hosts has been something of adjustment for him, but viewers have been eating it up.

Live with Kelly and Mark has remained the No. 1 entertainment talk show on television over the past year, growing 3% in average total viewers to 2.23M per episode.  It is also the most-watched daytime talk show in the last year in key demos of women 18-49 and women 25-54. All of this, since the real-life marrieds teamed-up.

Photo: ABC

Speaking with Deadline, Kelly Ripa shared why the two are gelling on-screen, “I do think that there is something very possibly relatable about our relationship. We have disagreements like a normal couple, and we’re not afraid to let them unfold on the air and in front of America, and I think people find a lot of themselves in that.”

Mark weighed in how he has progressed as a host, and what he could improve at, sharing, “I’d like to get better at my interviewing skills. I’d like to get better at reading a teleprompter…I think I’m getting better at throwing to commercial. The other day in the middle of the show as we go to commercial, my sign off was ‘See you guys around.’ I mean, the show wasn’t over. The most obvious thing to say would be, ‘We’ll be back right after this.’ But I just said, ‘See you around.’ So we went to commercial and one of the producers (goes) ‘What was that?’ I don’t know… So for the next few sign offs, as a joke, I’d say ‘See you around.’ We got a kick out of it.”

Photo: ABC

Meanwhile, Kelly has given huge props to Mark, “I find Mark utterly compelling, really interesting, super funny, and he’s bold in a way like nobody else. He says what’s on his mind. If he’s thinking it, he says it.  I’ve done this a long time and oftentimes people will adjust their natural personalities to pander to what they think the audience wants to hear, and Mark will tell people what he thinks, and he doesn’t care if it’s not a popular opinion. It gives him an edginess that I think is really missing in the landscape today. Everybody’s so afraid to say anything, and Mark is unafraid to say exactly what he’s thinking.”

In a statement, Debra O’Connell, President News Group and Networks, Disney Entertainment shared, We could not be more thrilled with how Mark has seamlessly joined the show family as permanent co-host. His undeniable charisma and his and Kelly’s natural chemistry are evident as they deliver the laughs and smiles to our viewers each morning. We are incredibly proud of how Live has continued to evolve and that the audience is responding so enthusiastically.”

So, do you think Mark Consuelos is the best co-host his wife Kelly Ripa has ever had on ‘Live’? How would you say he is doing as co-host after one full year on the job? Comment below.

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All My Children

Susan Lucci Joins the Cast of Jonah Hill’s Movie ‘Outcome’

Look who will be part of the ensemble cast in motion picture and film star Jonah Hill’s new film project! That’s right, none other than Susan Lucci (ex-Erica, All My Children).

According to Deadline, the daytime television icon joins other notables including Laverne Cox and David Spade who have been added to the cast of Outcome. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Matt Bomer (ex-Ben, Guiding Light) and Cameron Diaz.

In Outcome, which is written by, and will be directed by Hill, the dark comedy centers around Reef (played by Reeves), a damaged Hollywood star who must dive into the dark depths of his past to confront his demons and make amends after he is extorted with a mysterious video clip from his past.

Photo: JPI

Soap fans know that following her iconic run as All My Children’s Erica Kane, Susan went on to be featured in Lifetime’s Devious Maids in the role of Genevieve Delatour.  Since her Pine Valley days ended (when AMC was canceled in 2012), Susan has appeared in numerous shows and made numerous appearances.  n December of 2023, Lucci was awarded the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Photo: JPI

Outcome will debut on Apple and is an Apple Studios production. The film marks the latest collaboration for Hill and Apple Original Films, who are also developing a Grateful Dead biopic with Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions, to be directed by Scorsese, with Hill starring in it and as one of the producers of the project, as well.

So, intrigued to see what kind of role Susan plays in Jonah Hill’s new film ‘Outcome’? Comment below.

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