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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.

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Pluto TV Launches Soap Channel with B&B and Y&R Dedicated Episodes

Great news soap fans, you have another place to catch your favorite CBS daytime dramas. On Tuesday, ViacomCBS’ free streaming television service, Pluto TV, launched its soap channel with past episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless.

Pluto TV’s soap channel launched with the log line: “Soap operas aren’t just for daytime. They’re for anytime. Get your fix of melodrama 24/7 on Pluto TV Soaps.”

In terms of what years and episodes are available, viewers can now enjoy from the CBS sister soaps, season 47 and 48 of Y&R,  which is partially from when Mal Young was EP and head writer, and then into the current regime of Anthony Morina and Josh Griffith.   For The Bold and the Beautiful, the episodes start back from September of 2018.

To watch Live or OnDemand, go to the Pluto TV Soaps channel website, or download the Pluto TV app via the App Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store or Roku etc. You can also click here for your preferred device.

Newer episodes from B&B and Y&R will be available on Pluto TVs OnDemand service and can be viewed from Smart Televisions, Apple TV, Playstation, Tivo Roku, Xfinity, and Chromecast. You can also watch via the company’s website without registering.

So, do you hope Pluto TV’s soap channel, builds itself out and includes more soaps from the past, and those that ran on CBS? What season of Y&R and B&B would you like to see added to the service? Share your thoughts below.

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TODAY: B&B’s Kimberlin Brown and Sean Kanan Guest on ‘The Talk’

Sheryl Underwood should have some fun today on an all-new, October 19th episode of The Talk, when two of daytime’s baddest of the bad, visit the CBS afternoon series.

Look for The Bold and the Beautiful’s Kimberlin Brown (Sheila Carter) and Sean Kanan (Deacon Sharpe) to chat it up with Sheryl and the rest of The Talk hosts on returning to their signature soap roles.

As B&B fans know, Sheila and Deacon are now set to team up to bring down the Forresters and pave the way for them to be closer to their children.  For Sheila, that’s having a relationship with her son, Finn (Tanner Novlan) and her grandson, Hayes.  And for Deacon, that’s his daughter, Hope (Annika Noelle).  What revenge plot will they conjure up to get what they want?

In its new season and configuration, The Talk, is hosted by Underwood, Amanda Kloots, Jerry O’Connell, Akbar Gbajabiamila and Natalie Morales.

Look for Kimberlin and Sean on The Talk today at 2 p.m, EST on CBS.

So, will you be checking out Kimberlin and Sean on today’s episode of The Talk? Are you enjoying their scenes together thus far on The Bold and the Beautiful? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Corbin Bernsen to Reprise His Role of Arnie Becker in ‘LA Law’ Revival Pilot

Corbin Bernsen (Father Todd, The Young and the Restless) and the son of Y&R’s late great Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) has signed on to reprise his signature primetime television role of womanizing lawyer Arnie Becker in the upcoming LA Law revival pilot.

This makes Corbin the co-lead of the series alongside Blair Underwood (Ex-OLTL) who previously signed on to the pilot to reprise his role of Jonathan Rollins.  ABC has greenlit the pilot.

According to Deadline, it is believed that Bernsen and Underwood will be the only original members of the mid 80’s-90’s legal drama on NBC in the pilot, but more may guest-star if the show gets picked up for a full-season order.

In the premise of the reboot, the law firm of McKenzie Brackman, now named Becker Rollins, reinvents itself as a litigation firm specializing in only the most high profile, boundary pushing and incendiary cases.  The show will feature familiar characters working alongside new ones on the most hot button issues of the day.  As for Bernsen’s Becker, now in his 60’s, look for him to struggle with a rapidly shifting sexual and political landscape.

The original LA Law ran for eight seasons from September 15, 1986 to May 19, 1994 on NBC.

So, what do you think of Corbin taking on the role of Arnie Becket in a revival of LA Law? Would you be intrigued to check out the show if it makes it to series? Comment below.

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