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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.

As The World Turns

ATWT Alum Jen Landon to Recur on ‘FBI: Most Wanted’

Three-time Daytime Emmy-winner and former As the World Turns star Jen (Jennifer( Landon (Ex-Gwen) has landed a recurring role on the  second season of the CBS crime drama, FBI: Most Wanted.

In it, Landon will play Sarah Allen, Tali’s (Yaya Gosselin) riding instructor.

Jen joins another daytime soap alum, Julian McMahon (Ex-Another World), in the cast.

Most recently, Landon appeared in both Yellowstone and Animal Kingdom, and is the daughter of the late Bonanza star, Michael Landon.

During her time in Oakdale and ATWT, Jen took home the Daytime Emmy in the Younger Actress category three years in a row.

So, looking forward to seeing Jen on FBI: Most Wanted? Comment below.

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B&B’s Don Diamont Returns To Y&R

He played Brad Carlton on The Young and the Restless from 1985-2009 before being written-off the show and eventually wound up on another Bell family series, The Bold and the Beautiful, as Dollar Bill Spencer.

Now, as part of the Summer Newman (Hunter King) and Sally Spectra (Courtney Hope) feud that is going on from Genoa City to Los Angeles – in a crossover storyline on the CBS sister soaps – Diamont is headed back to his old stomping ground for a visit.

According to Soap Opera Digest, look for Diamont on Y&R the week of February 8th,

Diamont told SOD on his Y&R return, “I had not ever considered that I would be part of a crossover, just because my character was so well-defined at Y&R.”

So have you been enjoying the B&B and Y&R crossover storyline thus far? Do  you think it will be fun to see Don mix it up with some old pals on-screen from Y&R? Comment below.  But first, check out this video released by CBS Daytime of some other crossovers moments over the year between Y&R and B&B.  

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General Hospital

Vinessa Antoine’s ‘Diggstown’ Acquired by Fox in the U.S.

Great news for fans of former GH star Vinessa Antoine (Ex-Jordan).  The Canadian legal drama, Diggstown, in which she stars has found an American broadcasting home via news today that Fox has acquired the series.

Fox has picked up twelve episodes for seasons one and two of the drama.

In Diggstown, Antoine stars as Marcie Diggs, a star corporate lawyer who reconsiders her priorities and moves to work in a legal-aid office after her beloved aunt takes her own life following the pressures of a malicious prosecution.

 

The series explores issues of social injustice among other topical matters and universal themes. The team of lawyers that Marcie works with are a curious band of do-gooders, cynics, and scrappers – messy souls struggling to keep personal disappointment and demons out of their practice. They work directly in the community to find justice for their varied clients. Marcie is driven by one thing – to never again allow innocent lives to be destroyed by the justice system.

Deadline broke the news of the acquisition, which will help the network during the Covid-19 pandemic and production shutdowns, to have programming ready to go while other shows continue to get up and running.

No word yet on when Fox might air Diggstown in its primetime line-up.

So, excited to see Vinessa in the legal drama when the show airs on Fox? Comment below.

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B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

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