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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

Hallmark Channel’s ‘Home & Family’ Returns to Production For Ninth Season; Premiere Date Revealed

Another daytime show is heading back to production amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Now comes word that Hallmark Channel’s flagship morning lifestyle series, Home & Family has returned to production at its Universal Studios set for its ninth season.

All My Children favorite Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan Lavery) and Debbie Matenopoulos will return as co-hosts .

Look for the new season to kick-off on Monday, September 14th at 10am EST.

In a statement, Home & Family executive producer, Tracy Verna Soiseth shared: “We are thrilled to be returning to our home for the new season. Home & Family is a daily destination of comfort television, and we are very happy to be returning with two hours of daily interviews, cooking segments, DIY crafts and our hugely popular animal adoptions.”

For the past several months. a daily series featuring the cast called At Home with Our Family has run across the show’s social media platforms during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Deadline,premiere-week guests are to include: Jenna Bush Hager, Danica McKellar, celebrity chefs Jet Tila, Carla Hall, Buddy Valastro, Curtis Stone, Rashad Jennings and Dennis Quaid.

So, glad to know Home & Family is also back in production? Comment below.

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All My Children

Michael B. Jordan Pays Tribute To Chadwick Boseman: “Since Nearly The Beginning Of My Career, Starting with All My Children When I was 16 Years Old You Paved The Way For Me”

Following the news of the tragic death of now motion picture icon, Chadwick Boseman late Friday, tributes and sentiments have poured in from celebrities, politicians and fans from all across the world.

Chadwick Boseman passed away late last week at the age of 43 from colon cancer – a battle he kept silent about for the last four years of life.

Photo: JPI

No one could be more intertwined with Boseman’s career than that of his fellow Black Panther star, Michael B. Jordan.  For Jordan took over the role of Reggie Porter on All My Children from Boseman after the late actor lasted one week, following standing up to, and addressing concerns, of racial stereotypes in the way that the part was written.  Reggie was introduced to Pine Valley as a gang member in 2003.  As previously reported it was Boseman who helped the soap opera improve the role that Jordan took over with some recommendations.

Now Michael B. Jordan has written a heartfelt remembrance of Chadwick that he shared on his Instagram, and what he has meant to his life, including how he showed him how to be better, to honor purpose and create legacy.

Read below Michael’s post:

“I’ve been trying to find the words, but nothing comes close to how I feel. I’ve been reflecting on every moment, every conversation, every laugh, every disagreement, every hug…everything.

I wish we had more time.

One of the last times we spoke, you said we were forever linked , and now the truth of that means more to me than ever. Since nearly the beginning of my career, starting with All My Children when I was 16 years old you paved the way for me. You showed me how to be better, honor purpose, and create legacy. And whether you’ve known it or not…I’ve been watching, learning and constantly motivated by your greatness.

I wish we had more time.

Everything you’ve given the world … the legends and heroes that you’ve shown us we are … will live on forever. But the thing that hurts the most is that I now understand how much of a legend and hero YOU are. Through it all, you never lost sight of what you loved most. You cared about your family , your friends, your craft, your spirit. You cared about the kids, the community, our culture and humanity. You cared about me. You are my big brother, but I never fully got a chance to tell you, or to truly give you your flowers while you were here.

I wish we had more time.

I’m more aware now than ever that time is short with people we love and admire. I’m gonna miss your honesty, your generosity, your sense of humor, and incredible gifts. I’ll miss the gift of sharing space with you in scenes. I’m dedicating the rest of my days to live the way you did. With grace, courage, and no regrets. “Is this your king!?” Yes . he . is!  Rest In Power Brother.”

What do you think of Michael’s tribute to Chadwick and how they have been interconnected dating back to 2003 and All My Children? Comment below.

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All My Children

Chadwick Boseman, ‘Black Panther’ Star and the Original Reggie On AMC, Dies At 43

In just heartbreaking news in an already dismal 2020, one of the brightest motion picture stars, Chadwick Boseman has died at the age of 43.

Boseman was battling colon cancer for the last four years of his life.  According to his rep, Boseman was diagnosed in 2016 with stage 3 colon cancer and his battle continued as it progressed to stage 4

Chadwick passed away with his wife and family by his side in his home.   In a shocking revelation, all of the movie performances in the last four years he has filmed were done in between chemotherapy and countless surgery.

Boseman is best known for his groundbreaking role as King T’Challa  in Black Panther.   His performance was the first ever Marvel Studio movie headlined by a black actor.  The film was nominated for an Academy Award.   He first appeared as the character in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.

Most recently, Chadwick appeared in the Spike Lee’s Vietnam War drama Da 5 Bloods, and this year he’s due to appear opposite Viola Davis Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” the film adaptation of the August Wilson play.  The actor starred in other films, including playing James Brown in Get On Up and Jackie Robinson in 42,  and the lead role in Marshall.

However, Boseman actually got his start on All My Children when he was the original actor cast in the role of Reggie Porter.  He appeared on the soap for only one week before the role was recast with none other than Michael B. Jordan, and their paths could eventually cross years later on multiple film projects.

In an interview in 2019, Boseman revealed what led him to be fired from All My Children stating:  “When I got it (the part), I was like, ‘This is not part of my manifesto. This is not part of what I want to do. How can I make it work?’ Because with a soap opera, you don’t know the full scope of what’s gonna happen — you don’t know where they’re gonna take the character, because they don’t always know where the character is going. And because of that, there’s possibly room for me to adjust this and change it and make it so it’s stereotypical on the page but not on the screen.”

For Boseman had issues with how Reggie was portrayed and how it was written with racial stereotypes.  In story, Reggie was a young gang member who was adopted by Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) and her husband, Jackson Montgomery (Walt Willey). “I remember going home and thinking, ‘Do I say something to them about this? Do I just do it?’ And I couldn’t just do it. “I had to voice my opinions and put my stamp on it. And the good thing about it was, it changed it a little bit for Michael B. Jordan.”  Apparently the producers told Boseman he was too much trouble but took some of his suggestions on the role moving forward.

Share your thoughts and condolences on the passing of Chadwick Boseman via the comment section below.

Watch below, when Chadwick speaks at the Howard University commencement in which he shared to the graduating students about losing his gig on All My Children(Thanks to Renee for this)

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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