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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.

Guiding Light

Tom Pelphrey Set As Series Regular For Amazon’s Mystery Drama ‘Outer Range’

Another great feather in the cap for one of the finest actors we know, former Guiding Light and As the World Turns alum, and two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Tom Pelphrey.

Fresh of his star-turn in Netflix;s Ozark as Laura Linney’s on-screen brother Ben, Pelphrey has nabbed a key role in the upcoming Amazon series, Outer Range.

The show also stars Lilli Taylor and Tamara Podemski and Josh Brolin.  Outer Range is from playwright Brian Watkins, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and Amazon Studios.

According to Deadline: The story centers on Royal Abbott (Brolin), a rancher fighting for his land and family, who discovers an unfathomable mystery at the edge of Wyoming’s wilderness.  Taylor will portray Cecilia Abbott, the matriarch of the Abbott family. Cecilia is a woman of deep faith, which she finds tested as never before. Podemski will play Deputy Sheriff Joy. A life-long cop, Joy is running for county sheriff, and is the first gay Native American to ever do so in Wyoming. Pelphrey is Perry Abbott, the dutiful, eldest Abbott son, who is torn up inside by the lingering mystery of his missing wife.”

Coming up this Oscar season look for Tom in David Fincher’s Mank, where he plays Joseph Mankiewicz .

So will you be checking out Tom in Outer Range? Comment below.

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The Bold and the Beautiful Celebrates Taping 100 Episodes Since Returning to Production Amidst COVID-19

This week on Wednesday, The Bold and the Beautiful reached another milestone in their over 33-years on the air, but this one nobody could have prepared for or predicted earlier this year.

The CBS daytime drama celebrated their 100th episode back in production after the coronavirus pandemic shut down production months ago.  B&B was the first soap and television show back in production in the U.S. in June and since that time has kept the show moving forward offering its fans plenty of drama.

For the milestone, the cast and crew were given new masks to wear, which showed The Bold and the Beautiful logo and the 100 numerical number.

Taking to their Instagram account over the last few days, showing off their masks, and marking the occasion have been cast members including: Lawrence-Saint Victor, Thorsten Kaye, Denise Richard, Matthew Atkinson, Katherine Kelly Lang, John McCook, Scott Clifton, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood and more.

Thosten Kaye gave a special message and shout out to fans of the series sharing: ” We couldn’t have done it without you, our fans. Thank you.”

Lawrence Saint-Victor shared: “We’ve shot 100 episodes since we’ve been back in production!!  Our incredible team who brought us back and brought us back safely.   We weathered this crazy time.”

Check out Jacqui and Scott celebration pic below, then share your congrats to B&B for providing entertainment and drama during these tough times when it cannot be easy to film via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alum Molly Burnett Promoted To Series Regular on ‘Queen of the South’

Wanna know where you can find Salem’s Melanie Layton, sorta?  You can watch her killing it on USA’s drama Queen of the South.  That”s where former Days of our Lives star, Molly Burnett has just been upped to series regular for the show’s upcoming fifth season.

According to Deadline who broke the news, Burnett will continue to play her complex and delicious role of Kelly Anne.

Soap fans Molly as Melanie on DAYS from 2008-2016 and when she stepped into play the role of Maxie Jones for Kirsten Storms on General Hospital in 2016.

Queen of the South is based on the bestselling book La Reina del Sur by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. It tells the story of Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga), a woman who is forced to run from the Mexican cartel and seek refuge in America.

Burnett’s Kelly Anne is a frequent member of Teresa’s drug operation, has already killed her abusive husband, was an informant, and had a cocaine habit.  When viewers last saw Kelly Anne she was finding her sobriety and her way back into the Teresa’s operations in New Orleans.

Since exiting Days in 2014, Burnett has also been seen on  CSI: Cyber, Relationship Status and True Blood. 

So intrigued to watch Molly on Queen of the South? Comment below.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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General Hospital

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