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Soap Smarts: How Daytime Dramas Are Using Ingenuity To Get Back Into Production During COVID-19

Photo: JPI

Daytime dramas seldom get the credit they deserve, and now they should be getting further credit for being the first back into production as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, and trying to implement new ways to keep their trademarks love scenes, intimate moments and two-person scenes somehow looking in tact; even though it will be far from how it was done in the past.

In the story from the Associated Press The Bold and the Beautiful EP, and head writer, Brad Bell – who’s soap was the first one back into the studio – commented on how the show is utilizing mannequins, or real-life significant others to help pull off close contact love scenes and how it is rather groundbreaking. “We feel almost like television pioneers all these years later because we’re the first ones out, blazing new ways of producing the shows with the current safety standards, and we’re getting the job done. It’s very exciting.”

When B&B scripts written pre-coronavirus were reviewed in preparation for shooting during the pandemic now, originally all the cinches and smooches were cut. But Bell found a solution whereby a remote actor recites lines as their on-camera scene partner responds in a “low, intimate voice” and engages in “beautiful, yearning eye contact” with an off-camera doll.

As far as the soapy embrace or lip-lock, B&B cast member Katrina Bowden (Flo) has had her husband and musician Ben Jorgensen stand in for her on-screen love interest, Darin Brooks (Wyatt) since returning to taping new episodes.

Photo: JPI

Days of our Lives EP Ken Corday noted to AP:  The “learning curve” is steep. Before the pandemic, “we were producing eight, one-hour episodes a week. That’s basically 40 or 50 scenes a day.  That’s going to be basically impossible to reopen, so to speak, at that pace. We’re going to have to be more careful. So will there be five shows a week, or more? Yet to be determined.  It will certainly cost more.”

B&B and now Y&R which heads back into production next week, and the others soaps, will be using the company called Reel Health, which launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to serve the entertainment industry, and hires medically trained workers to monitor sets and enforce protocols developed by a company epidemiologist and in accordance with industry and government standards,

Alicia Rodis, a veteran intimacy coordinator who helped the actors guild develop guidelines for taping scenes of romance and simulated sex. shared: “Finding ways to put romance on the screen is inevitable and necessary.  At the end of the day, intimacy isn’t going anywhere. Physical intimacy is a part of the human experience. And we’re going to have to find a way to be able to continue to tell these stories, even in extraordinary circumstances.”

So, what do you think of how soaps are tackling taping episodes in the new normal to give their fans a sense of all that they love from their favorite daytime dramas during COVID-19? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

Breaking News

Courtney Hope Exits The Bold and the Beautiful Shares: “This Chapter of Sally Has Sadly Come to an End”

Since The Bold and the Beautiful returned to CBS Daytime with all-new episodes, it has provided viewers scenes that included of the finest work of Courtney Hope’s (Sally) career on the soap,  and now its time again for her character to depart the canvas one more time,

In story, Sally’s lies caught up with her in her obsession to nab Wyatt (Darin Brooks) as her man at the expense of his current lady love, Flo (Katrina Bowden).  And in key scenes on today’s B&B, Wyatt tells Sally it’s best for to stay away from him and Flo and to, perhaps, leave town.

Courtney took to her Instagram account to share her thoughts on the news of her exit, saying: “An abrupt ending to a monumental journey. The last three years have been amazing, and though I do not know what the future holds this chapter of Sally has sadly come to an end.  I love my @boldandbeautifulcbs cast and crew and will miss everyone dearly, but await the day we may all play again. Some things are out of our control, and I thank the fans for your support through it all!  Until then, I revel in new beginnings and everything the future has in store. 🙌🏼✨Love you all,  Sally spectra out 👩🏼‍🦰 ✌🏽”

So, what have you thought of Courtney’s recent performances?  Do you think B&B wrote the character into a corner they could not get out of? Would you like to see her return again one day? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.   But first, watch Wyatt say goodbye to Sally.

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Dominic Zamprogna On His Return To General Hospital: “So Great To Be back With My Family!!”

The big surprise on Monday’s General Hospital in its first episode back amid the coronavirus pandemic, featured in it none other than Dominic Zamprogna and his return to the show as Dante Falconeri.

In it, viewers see Dante still struggling from his PTSD while at a WSB facility in Geneva, Switzerland at the top of the episode.

We later see Dante writing a letter to his mother, Olivia (Lisa LoCicero), that he just saves and tucks at the end of his bed, never meaning he as he says to send it, in order to keep his family and loved ones safe from him.

Zamprogna was last seen on GH back in March of 2019.  Dominic originated the role of Dante back in 2009 and had stayed with the series for 9 years before deciding to previously exit the show.  Over the last several months, Dominic has been public about wanting the opportunity to work with his GH co-stars again and how he missed them,

After today’s episode of GH aired, the series Twitter account, tweeted: “Welcome Home” to which the actor expressed: “Thank you!! So great to be back with my family!!”

This sets the stage for Dante to get well, head back to Port Charles, only to find the love of his life Lulu (Emme Rylan), involved with another man, Dustin (Mark Lawson), or who knows what else may be on the horizon.

So, what do you think will happen next for Dante? Glad Dominic is back on GH? Comment below.

 

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Breaking News

The Young and the Restless Returns With All-New Episodes Beginning August 10th

For those who have been anxiously awaiting word on just when The Young and the Restless will resume airing all-new episodes, the wait it over!  News on Monday from the CBS Daytime drama series reveals that starting next Monday with the August 10th episode, viewers will see the storylines pick back up and the continuance of the characters they love to love, or love to hate on the iconic soap opera.

With Y&R back, that means that General Hospital, which returned today with new episodes, The Bold and the Beautiful which returned with new episodes a few weeks ago, and Days of our Lives which already had episodes in the bank before the COVID-19 pandemic and well into October, daytime viewers will finally have all their soaps back!

As for the action in Genoa City, the show shares to look for: Victor and Nikki’s family threatened by a secret, Billy and Lily navigating their new partnership with a shocking scandal brewing, Phyllis and Abby’s rivalry heating up, and Sharon’s family rallying around her during her brave battle with cancer.

Below is what to watch for on Y&R the week of Aug 10-14th.

Monday, August 10: Lily (Christel Khalil) and Billy (Jason Thompson) interview Genoa City residents as they celebrate the anniversary of Katherine’s dedication at Chancellor Park, sparking guests’ memories of the recent past.

Tuesday, August 11: Sharon (Sharon Case) struggles with her new normal following her surgery, Billy (Jason Thompson) and Lily (Christel Khalil) disagree on a potential hire for Chancellor Communications, and Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) has a bone to pick with Abby (Melissa Ordway). This episode was filmed before the pandemic shut down production.

Wednesday, August 12: Victor (Eric Braeden) and Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) put their differences aside to help Adam (Mark Grossman), Summer (Hunter King) reveals her true feelings about Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Phyllis’ (Michelle Stafford) reunion, and Amanda (Mishael Morgan) puts the brakes on her budding romance with Nate (Sean Dominic).

Thursday, August 13: Jack’s (Peter Bergman) parenting advice strikes a nerve with Victor (Eric Braeden), Adam (Mark Grossman) searches for clues to prove he didn’t commit a decades-old crime, and Esther (Kate Linder) helps Kevin (Greg Rikaart) prepare for fatherhood.

Friday, August 14: Devon (Bryton James) bonds with Amanda (Mishael Morgan), Nikki’s (Melody Thomas Scott) attempt to keep the peace in the Newman family backfires, and Jack (Peter Bergman) and Ashley (Eileen Davidson) are reminded of their family’s checkered past.

So, excited to hear Y&R is back beginning next week? What storyline are you most looking forward to seeing play out? Comment below.

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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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