Paul Raven

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About Paul Raven

  • Rank

Paul Raven's Activity

  1. Paul Raven added a post in a topic As The World Turns Discussion Thread   

    • 0
  2. Paul Raven added a post in a topic Marlena Delacroix praises Jelly and Smarttv   

    Maybe Marlena's illness has affected her judgement...
    • 0
  3. Paul Raven added a post in a topic Lapsed Viewers: What Would Lure You Back In?   

    The networks are so far away from HBO and others in terms of what is acceptable,even in primetime.
    Everytime they try a cable type show,it comes off as a pale imitation.
    Especially in daytime,where everything is filtered through a very conservative and outdated model. Hence characters getting married 6 or 7 times and each marriage treated as the ultimate outcome, no characters living together long term,no couples choosing to be childless, no abortions,no gay couples etc
    If they went with some of this it could be the shot in the arm the shows need, rather than back from the dead and evil lookalikes.
    interestingly in soaps 'heyday' these ridiculous plots were seldom used.
    Look at the setup for Y&R in 73
    Two families one wealthier than the other but no no means rich.
    The Fosters
    The weary working class mom battling to keep food on the table.
    Two sons going through college and a daughter dreaming on a better life.
    The Brooks
    A husband and wife facing the fact that their marriage is drifting
    A shy daughter lost in music.
    The 'princess' daughter in love with brooding poorer guy who is casually sleeping with a waitress
    All of this could play today.Obviously the treatment would be different than in 73 just as Y&R was regarded as quite radical at that time.
    • 0
  4. Paul Raven added a post in a topic DAYS behind the scenes, articles/photos   

    Yes, thanks.A great read. JER didn't give many interviews so this is special.As Michael said that time at Days was special.
    JER got the ratings to jump by setting up the Carly buried alive story and took it from there.
    • 0
  5. Paul Raven added a post in a topic They Almost Became   

    Don Hastings won parts on both ATWT and TEON in 1956. Benton & Bowles,the ad agency for P&G decided to cast him as Jack Lane on Edge.Otherwise he would have been Don Hughes on ATWT.
    • 0
  6. Paul Raven added a post in a topic As The World Turns Discussion Thread   

    Thinking of Irna's departure in 1970, I wonder how that all went down? Did she give a lot of notice or was her departure one of those mercurial Irna moves?
    Did any of the mags mention it at the time?
    She had been at ATWT 13 years and I wonder if she was getting a little frustrated with the constraints of writing those particular characters?
    She had tried with Another World to oversee a new show,but never seemed to get a handle on it.
    Now she and her daughter were working on 'A World Apart' and she probably had free reign to write for a fresh set of characters. Her stint there also proved to be short lived.
    Anyway,ATWT went with Joel Kane as her replacement.He had some primetime experience but had never worked in daytime. I imagine CBS and P&G were very protective of their #1 rating show that was a huge moneyspinner. Was Joel Kane expected to reproduce Irna's style? I'm not sure how long he lasted but at some point Winifred Wolfe took over before Irna returned.
    Hope other posters have some insights about this time in ATWT history.
    • 0
  7. Paul Raven added a post in a topic As The World Turns Discussion Thread   

    Exact dates are hard to come by but Irna left the first time around January 1970 and returned January 72.She was writing up till a writers strike in mid 73 and did not return.
    • 0
  8. Paul Raven added a post in a topic Actors who didn't improve or got worse during their time on soaps?   

    Eric Braeden 
    Peter Bergman
    As the writing for these characters deteriorated so did their performances
    Daniel Goddard
    Horrid from Day One...
    • 0
  9. Paul Raven added a post in a topic As The World Turns Discussion Thread   

     Cute CBS trade magazine ad January 1966
     A Picture of Chris and Nancy Hughes
    NANCY You seem distracted, dear. Is anything troubling you?
    CHRIS: Not really. (PAUSING) Nancy, wouldn't you say we've been pretty honest with each other all these years?
    NANCY: A S honest as the day is long.
    CHRIS: There's something I've been wanting to tell you for along time, but I haven't known exactly how. It's pretty complicated.
    NANCY: Just say it, dear...I'll understand.
    CHRIS Nancy, we're on the most popular daytime program in all television.
    NANCY: How marvelous!
    CHRIS: There's even more to it than that. The CBS daytime programs are now delivering 64 per cent larger average audiences than the next closest network, and 119 per cent larger audiences than the third network. And in each case it's a bigger lead than a year ago.
    NANCY: (EXCITEDLY) It's too good to be true!
    CHRIS: It is true. CBS daytime programs reach almost as many households as the other two networks combined. As a matter of tact, our programs have averaged the biggest daytime audiences for 8 years. We've been first in every one of Art Nielsen's last 74 reports.
    NANCY: He must be a very busy man!
    CHRIS: Yes, and there's even more: CBS has 5 of the Top Five daytime programs, 10 of the Top Ten, and 13 of the Top Fifteen.
    NANCY: Why, Chris, we have just about everything!
    CHRIS: You can say that again. In fact, that's the reason why the nation's leading daytime advertisers spend almost as much money on the CBS Television Network alone as on the other two networks combined. And they've been doing it for years.
    NANCY : (DRAWING CLOSE) They've been wonderful years, Chris, haven't they?
    CHRIS; The best—and there are many more to come.  
    • 0
  10. Paul Raven added a post in a topic DAYS: Melissa Reeves Interview   

    Did Jennifer interact much with Will or Sonny? Was she at the wedding?
    • 0
  11. Paul Raven added a topic in Discuss The Soaps   

    1982 Article Soap Opera history,appeal and themes...
    LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON THE NEW LOOK Modern Soap Operas Would Have Shocked The Fans of Radio's Our Gal Sunday and Helen Trent. A Study of The Lively Art Of The Serial, Its Formats and Themes. BY DOROTHY VINE
    FADE IN: A lush, deserted tropical island, palm trees languidly swaying over wave -drenched, semi -nude lovers stretched out at water's edge locked in passionate embrace.. . FADE IN: An unmarried couple in bed. She unbuttons his shirt and repeatedly kisses his chest. She tells him, "I want to be the best lover you ever had; I want you to want me so much you cannot stand to be without me." .. .
    FADE IN: Along the Seine's Left Bank, strolling hand -in -hand, two lovers enjoy the actual sights and sounds of a spring day in Paris...
    It may come as a surprise, or perhaps even a shock, to non -soap watchers that these are not scenes from a high budget or x -rated feature film, but from recent episodes of Search for Tomorrow, Days of Our Lives and One Life to Live respectively. Gone forever are the stereotypes associated with soap operas - housewives in long, lingering talks over countless cups of coffee in tiny kitchens and /or drab living rooms. Here to stay and proliferate are young, attractive people pillow -talking in rumpled beds, on sofas, floors, tropical isles, in gardens and even haylofts. Married or not, they are shapely, show lots of skin and an unquenchable stamina for passion. Actual location shooting, racy dialogue and titillating situations are not the only changes that have taken place since the 15- minute Clara Lu 'n Em became the first network radio daytime serial in 1932.
    Following the success of that show, daytime serials proliferated every year, growing closer and closer to the soap opera form as we know it today, until by the early 40's, there was a total of 33 providing an all -day marathon for listeners - starting at 10 a.m. and continuing until 6 p.m. They were, of course, all performed live and continued that way until the last one died in 1960. Contrary to popular belief, the death knell for radio serials was not caused by the defection of listeners. According to Raymond William Stedman, in The Serials, "Listeners as well as advertisers still loved them. But the belief of a network and its advertisers in daytime serials mattered little to local affiliates which in the days of television competition gained little from network radio programming. The fees stations received for carrying the network's offerings were much less than those they could obtain by selling the same time locally. Accordingly, CBS Radio's affiliates asked, then demanded that network offerings be reduced substantially to free more hours for local sales. That, at last, was the death sentence for radio's serials."
    Daytime serials had been waiting in the wings to come to the new television medium as early as 1947, when the first real soap opera, A Woman to Remembember, was aired by New York's Dumont Studios. But the honor for the first sponsored daytime television serial went to CBS, The First Hundred Years in 1950. In 1951 Roy Winsor created two landmark soaps, Search for Tomorrow and a few months later Love of Life. Search, which switched from CBS to NBC in 1982, is still alive, but Love of Life bit the dust in 1980. Search provided another landmark in that it introduced Mary Stuart in the pivotal role of Joanne, which she plays to this day. However, the character and the story line are no longer pivotal in the layers of storylines involving other characters - mostly young ones. The only actress in a soap to outdistance Ms. Stuart in longevity is Charita Bauer, who has played the matriarch of the tentpole Bauer family in Guiding Light since the radio days of 1950.
    The only soap to transfer successfully from radio to television, Guiding Light is still one of today's top -rated soaps. It celebrated its 45th anniversary this year and is the longest running continual show in the history of entertainment. Beginning on radio on January 25, 1937, on television on June 30, 1952, it was simulcast for two years in both media, with the same actors and scripts. It gave up the radio ghost in 1954. Charita Bauer remembers how it was during the years of radio and then the simulcast. "Although radio had its pressures, there was a lot more time for fun. Radio was a gravy train and we didn't know it - we all thought we were working so hard because we were all trying our best always. "When we did both the radio and the television show, there was a lot more pressure. We did the television show in the morning at Liederkranz Hall and then we'd all walk down together to the CBS studios at 53rd and Madison to do the radio show. It was a breeze to do the radio after we'd already had our rehearsal and done the television show. "When we went to television, there were staff additions. We had a makeup person, but not enough time to have it done properly and we did our own hair, which meant mine usually looked like an unmade bed. At the beginning, wardrobe was very casual and I remember bringing my own clothing from home. "Since television was a few steps closer to theater than radio, there was no problem for actors with theater experience to make the switch. But doing a 15- minute television show was not easy because, A, it was live and B, there were about two or three or maybe four people working on one day and it meant you had a lot more work to do within that period. But I was younger then and, speaking for myself, more lighthearted."
    The move to television changed more than attitudes. There were many ramifications and more attention had to be paid to production values, including sets, lighting and sound. Also changed was the earlier cavalier attitude to makeup, hair and wardrobe that Charita Bauer recalls. There was a rush to find people experienced in those fields. But no one would have believed back in those halcyon days that makeup artists would be just that - artists - and that an actor in a soap opera would be aged as Jack Betts was recently on One Life to Live; that an actor would be 'mummified' from poison gas as Robert Burton was in Texas; and that several actors would be 'frozen alive' as they were in General Hospital. The technical experts were all part of the intricate path that led to soap operas as they are today - the darlings of the public and the network accounting departments. The long journey cannot, of course, be detailed in anything less than a volume. Only some of the highlights can be noted here.
    Like the Broadway musical comedy, soap opera is a true American popular art form. It was created in Chicago by a handful of people whose names are now part of the recorded history of the genre. At about the same time, Frank Hummert, an advertising agency executive, and Irna Phillips, a schoolteacher /actress turned writer, were working separately, developing the earliest soaps. Ms. Phillips' Painted Dreams, aired in Chicago, was almost a prototype for the soap operas which were to follow and Ms. Phillips herself played one of the roles. The show, however, proved only a pioneering effort since it did not find a sponsor. The earliest Hummert offering (written by Charles Robert Douglas Hardy Andrews), The Stolen Husband, was a failure, but Hummert, working with his future wife, learned how to produce serials. Their efforts proved successful in later years, when they created classics like Just Plain Bill, The Romance of Helen Trent, Ma Perkins, Our Gal Sunday and John's Other Wife. Also writing soaps during the early radio years was Elaine Carrington, a successful magazine writer who created the long- running hits, Pepper Young's Family, When a Girl Marries and Rosemary. In 1933, Irna Phillips introduced her first radio network serial, NBC's Today's Children. It was almost identical to the story and characters of her earlier Painted Dreams, which the courts decreed belonged to the Chicago Station WGN, where she had worked when she created it. Ms. Phillips was an innovator and in her creations like Guiding Light, The Brighter Day and The Right to Happiness, her story lines all grew out of characterization. She was also the first serial writer to introduce such professionals as doctors and lawyers into her stories, rather than the traditional blue - collar people.
    Once the soaps came to television, Irna Phillips became the leading and most successful creator /writer. She produced a protégée, Agnes Nixon, who had developed as one of her dialogue writers. Mrs. Nixon, in addition to serving as a writer, created several of the longest- running and most successful television soaps, including Search for Tomorrow, One Life to Live and All My Children. But that was all still in the future - as was the increasing use of staffs of dialogue writers. When Irna Phillips waged a two -year running battle with owner /sponsor Procter & Gamble of The Guiding Light, to lengthen the 15- minute show to 30 minutes, they refused. To assuage their lady -with- the -golden- touch, they gave her the go -ahead to create a new half - hour show. The precedent- breaking As the World Turns was the result, and it proved an immediate and outstanding success. On the same day it started (April 2, 1956), Procter & Gamble premiered The Edge of Night, another phenomenon in soap opera history because its story lines concentrated on murder, mystery, suspense and political corruption. Today, those subjects are common on soaps, but were a rarity at that time.
    After the phenomenal success of World Turns, length of the soaps became a major issue as the networks watched each other's moves very carefully. By 1968, all the daytime soaps were one -half hour long. In 1975, NBC took its Another World to one hour and followed with the stretching of Days of Our Lives. CBS, not to be outdone, took World Turns to one hour. In 1976, ABC, which had entered the television daytime sweepstakes as late as 1963 with General Hospital at 45 minutes, increased its One Life to Live to the same odd length. Eventually, both went to one hour. In 1980, NBC experimented with the 90- minute format for Another World. When it proved a failure, they rolled it back to one hour, with a one -hour following spinoff, Texas. Today, only Ryan's Hope, Search, Edge of Night, The Doctors and Capitol remain as half - hour shows. Lengthening shows meant more work for the writers and the number of dialogue writers increased. These writers work from the 'breakdown' of daily scenes from the long -term projected story created by the head writers. More directors were also needed and added to staffs. Using different writers and different directors created the problem of coordinating the individual styles so there would be a smooth, unseamed continuity from one episode to another in the look, sound and overall style of the show. This became the responsibility of the head writers working with the producers. In addition to the show length, other aspects preoccupied the soap world. With the refinement of hardware, including cameras, sound equipment and the development of videotape, live shows gave way to tape. Mary Stuart remembers when Search went to tape. "It was in 1968," she recalls. "We really just went live on tape because once we started, we didn't stop - we just went right through. There was no real difference then. The difference is now; we can stop tape and edit, the way they do in feature films. But in those former days, there was no way to edit. It didn't occur to anybody and besides, we had no budget for it. Also, we'd all been trained to do it live and we had that discipline. Nobody today thinks in terms of seven -page scenes, which were automatic for 26 years. Now scenes are short and fast and three pages is considered a long scene."
    Although many soap opera veterans talk nostalgically about the good old pre -tape days of live shows, some, like Charita Bauer, are glad to see certain aspects of those days gone forever. "There were no cue cards or teleprompters in those days," she remembers, "but if we went up, as actors sometimes do, someone would throw us a line and we'd just go on. One day I had a scene with Gary Pillar, who was then playing my son, Michael, and one of us went up. It may well have been me, but I'll be honest with you, I don't remember because what followed was so horrendous, it wiped all the other details from my memory. Nobody threw us a line or said anything to fill in the void. "Suddenly this nervous stage manager, who was never anywhere he was needed at any time, and was then at the far end of the studio, started to shout out lines at us across the entire studio - and just kept on shouting. I'm sure inside the control room, they were pushing buttons to cut off his voice, but it was horrendous. I think that was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I don't know how we all got through the scene - obviously, we must have, but I don't remember any of it!" Tape has obviously solved that type of problem, which in retrospect seems comical rather than horrendous. But tape was to change the medium in other ways.
    Producer Gloria Monty, credited with turning General Hospital from a patient ready for expiration to super - health as the number one leader in daytime when she took over the show in 1978, confirms that tape changed not only the working habits of daytime, but also its look. New technology did more than change studio shooting. It freed the soaps from the confines of the studio. "When I was with The Secret Storm in the early '50's," she reminisces, "we didn't have the use of one -inch tape, so we couldn't do the editing we do now. Tape enabled us to shoot film -style, so we could go from one set to another and have faster -paced scenes. We were able to get people out of the kitchen set and have many more people in scenes. We didn't have to go from one scene with two people to another scene with two people. Having the use of one inch tape and having our own editing machines has made a tremendous difference. Also, I use five cameras instead of the usual three, giving us greater freedom. We now have a better sense of flow and movement and in the one -hour format, we're able to tell much more story." The new technology did even more than change studio shooting - it freed the soaps from the confines of the studio.
    Tentatively at first, with short jaunts into neighboring streets and parks, the soaps left the traditional living room and kitchen sets. As the World Turns taped a wedding in a real church for two of the leading young people whose romantic storyline had become very popular. The venture was considered innovative and exciting at the time. New locations were sought and when Ryan's Hope went to Ireland for the wedding of Mary Ryan and Jack Fenelli, two storyline principals, the race was on! After those early beginnings, the soaps have continued to roam the world. Since location shoots to the Caribbean and Bahaman Islands, as well as to states like Vermont, Texas, Arizona, Florida and California no longer create any ripple of publicity interest or excitement, globe- trotting has increased. To compete for audiences and the all -important ratings, crews and actors have been packed off to places like Paris, Greece, Switzerland and Hong Kong. But Gloria Monty points out those trips don't necessarily have a direct effect on ratings. "Exotic remotes involving great logistics and costs are not necessary for the success of a show," she says firmly. "Our show has remained number one for quite a while without going on any foreign remotes. We haven't yet gone outside of California (the show is produced in Los Angeles). I go out only when I feel the story actually needs it because it just cannot be done inside." "When Luke went on a hiking tour recently, we needed real sunlight, water and the feeling of fresh air, and there was no way in the world I could ever have done those scenes inside. We found Franklin Canyon, which was 15 minutes away, literally around the corner from us." "Last summer, we even built our own island in the studio and it was so successful, we got countless calls from viewers asking where the island was because they wanted to go there."
    But other soaps are willing to bear the discomforts and the costs. Soaps have traditionally been the greatest source of net revenue to the networks because their production costs were lower than prime -time shows, returning a higher ratio of profit. Do the producers who decided to go abroad and deal with the costs, the logistics of transporting cast and crew and the difficulties posed by foreign governments' laws and regulations believe that the remotes get results? Producer Nick Nicholson, of The Edge of Night, has some answers and interesting opinions. "We went to Switzerland to climax a story and it was effective," he says. "It was something that could not be done in the studio. Not only did it enhance the story, it enhanced the ratings. In our opinion, the expenditure for a remote, especially for one that far away, paid off. When the ratings went up for the period the scenes aired, we could only hope to hold on to the new viewers we had picked up. From simple familial and romantic problems, the soaps went to relevant issues. "As for future remotes, it's a matter of evaluation. If there's an unlimited amount of money, a bottomless money well, so to speak, you can do remotes all the time. We do 250 shows a year, so to maintain the pace of doing remotes regularly, we'd have to add two extra units. But if you have a budget to maintain, you have to evaluate whether the remote is going to pay off. If other shows are going to spend more money on remotes, I don't know. I can only speak for Edge and Edge will only spend money on remotes if it pays off."
    Another noteworthy change occured in subject matter. From simple familial and romantic problems, the soaps went to relevant issues. Agnes Nixon is credited as the bravest and most innovative exponent of real -life causes in soaps and has created story lines ranging from teenage runaways and prostitution to solar energy and VD, as well as inter- religious marriages. But other soaps, including the trendsetting, California -produced The Young and the Restless which premiered in 1973, dealt forthrightly with such subjects as mastectomy, rape, mental illness and incest. Women in soaps went from being housewives to doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists and business executives with all the attendant problems and traumas of those professions. And of course sex, in all its guises - sometimes including even married love but always excluding homosexuality - has proven the hottest topic in the soaps. The broadening of sexual horizons in the soaps attracted the attention of the national print and broadcast media and involved even the non -soap watching populace in controversy. ABC's catch phrase "Love in the Afternoon" was "anything goes time." Although total nudity has not yet been attempted, in Days of Our Lives a teenage actress in a pornography - modeling story line coyly turned her back to the camera and, looking over her shoulder, untied her bra strings. In The Young and the Restless, a young, nubile blonde, lying prostrate on the beach, had her husband playfully untie the string on her bikini bra. And in Guiding Light, the resident vamp /bitch tempted a reluctant suitor by "flashing" him. With her back to the camera, she dropped her fur coat, revealing bare shoulders. Then the camera panned the dropping coat to the floor and her bare legs.
    CBS' Capitol, the newest addition to the daytime lineup, which started in March of this year, uses some of the raciest dialogue in soaps. Executive Producer John Conboy - who served in the same capacity for The Young and the Restless and changed the look and the tone of soaps forever - says: "I think less is more where sexuality is concerned. It has to be very carefully produced, and I would rather do it in dialogue than in bed. You can get people more excited about a scene between two characters who want each other, if the desire is inherent in the dialogue and the story and the audience wants those two characters to be together, and if the scene is properly directed, than about a scene where you take off characters' clothes and throw them into bed together because you don't know what else to do with the scene. "I think permissiveness, so far as the audience is concerned, hasn't changed all that much during the nine years since I put Young and Restless on the air. There is still a tremendous morality in our audience that I think you have to pay careful attention to. I think you can shake it around a little bit but you have to always know it's there." Despite that, Capitol continues to do both bed scenes and highly overt sexual scenes. It was, after all, love and sex in the afternoon that made the soaps a favorite topic of conversation and made international stars of its actors. A highly praised but relatively unknown theater actor, Anthony Geary, who had ap- peared without a great stir in previous soap appearances, became a media hero. In the past year, his picture graced the cover of every national magazine, filled the fan magazines and tabloids. He made news in feature stories as well as in gossip columns and appeared on most major television talk shows. His serial career was capped when he won the 1982 Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance as Luke Spencer in General Hospital. He became the most publicized and popular performer in the history of the medium. In the female sweepstakes, glamorous Susan Lucci seems to be way ahead of the pack. A highly proficient actress in both comedic and dramatic scenes, she is perhaps the most instantly recognizable woman in daytime as Erica Kane in All My Children.
    Comedy, which figures prominently in story lines with both Susan and Tony, was never a strong point in the soaps. For a long time it was relegated to the low -key comedy of Stu and Marge Bergman in Search for Tomorrow (played respectively by Emmy Award - winning Larry Haines and the late Melba Rae). Comedy started to raise its welcome head more often with the introduction of the bumbling attorney Cliff Nelson (actor Ernie Townsend, Edge of Night), the even more bumbling blue - collar worker Floyd Parker (actor Tom Nielsen, Guiding Light) and Vivien, the maid (actress Gretchen Oehler) in Another World /Texas. Today, actors well -known in soaps moonlight on Broadway, in prime -time television and features and have been honored in all fields. Today comedy is alive and well, and in some cases already overdone and often forced. But the highlights of the new comedic trend in soaps are personified by Emmy Award -winning Dorothy Lyman as Opal Gardiner in All My Children, Tina Johnson (Lurlene Harper, Texas) and Diane Neil (Ruby Wright, Texas) who are daytime's answer to Lucy and Ethel and Laverne and Shirley.
    Making daytime respectable and taking it out of the range of smirking satire was effected when the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences initiated the Daytime Emmy Awards Show in 1974. This year's Ninth Annual Awards Show was telecast live from a leading New York hotel ballroom and drew a 33 share and a 9.3 rating in the Nielsens - healthy by any standards, especially since it was up against the number -one show, General Hospital. Today, actors well -known in soaps moonlight on Broadway, in prime -time television and feature films and have been honored in all fields. Helen Gallagher, who plays Maeve Ryan in Ryan's Hope, is a two -time Tony Award winner; veteran actor Henderson Forsythe, who plays Dr. David Stewart in As the World Turns, has taken a Tony Award home once and young Mary Gordon Murray (Becky Abbott, One Life to Live) won a Tony nomination for her starring role as Belle Poetrine in the revival of Neil Simon's musical Little Me.
    For the past year, another phenomenon was noted in the soaps. Actors who had made their mark in other media were flocking to the soaps either in guest -star appearances or in short -term recurring roles. When Joan Crawford did a week's worth of appearances substituting for her ailing daughter Christine in The Secret Storm in 1968 (pre Mommie Dearest days), it was considered a rarity. Today, nightclub and Hollywood performer Sammy Davis Jr. has reprised a character role in One Life to Live, Hollywood's Zsa Zsa Gabor did a character role in As the World Turns and Broadway's Gwen Verdon did a character role in All My Children. Oscar nominee Howard Rollins (Ragtime) is playing a recurring part in Another World and all -media star Elizabeth Taylor spent a much- publicized week in General Hospital. And without exception, all have praised the daytime actors, calling their own stints in the medium the hardest work they had ever done, and the most demanding. Other -media stars in soaps have started a lively controversy: do guest stars enhance, or distract from, the story lines the fans love so much? And while the controversy continues to rage, the trend continues to grow. In fact, the whole trend of soap operas continues to grow. With their introduction to cable television, they may soon be taking over in that medium. Emmy Award -winning Douglas Marland, until recently head writer for Guiding Light, has created a soap, A New Day in Eden, for cable television. "It wouldn't work in daytime network," he says, "because it's R -rated with lots of leeway in language and situation." Reports from those who have already seen the pilot reveal that it is one of the most interesting concepts in soaps today. Certain scenes have been shot two ways - with nudity and with no nudity. Decision on which to show will be made for the markets and times in Will soap operas eventually reach a saturation point, or are they here to stay indefinitely? which the show is aired. It may mean a new day for soaps and cable television - and through competition may change network soaps.
    Will soap operas ultimately reach a saturation point, or are they here to stay indefinitely? Mary Stuart remembers the prediction of Irna Phillips when it all began. "'The soaps will eat each other,' Irna told me. 'Eventually, there'll be too many and they'll kill the golden goose.'" Veteran Mary Stuart adds: "I think we're sort of doing that already. They're fighting each other, instead of supplying the market. I think soap operas are terribly important and people will always look for them and find them. They're like wonderful books to read and reread; they're close friends you never lose touch with." The opinions are interesting, but are not definitive pronouncements. Anyone who could predict with certainty the future of soap operas could build a reputation and make a fortune. All signs point to the fact that soaps are here to stay. They dominate daytime and even though many come to the end of the road, the networks prove their faith by having replacements continually in development. Nighttime shows like Dallas, Dynasty, Knots Landing and Flamingo Road have been dubbed 'nighttime soaps'. Their enormous success proves there's a place for a real soap opera on nighttime. Fans who are not at home during the day tape their favorite shows on their VTRs and watch the cassettes at night. But why settle for the ersatz when the real thing could easily be transferred? There's certainly an audience for it. Soaps which once attracted a predominantly 18- 49- year -old female audience have gone far beyond that boundary audience. Additional viewers now run the gamut from retired men and women and the homebound handicapped and ill to high -school and college students and young teenagers. At personal appearances by soap stars, children as young as eight say they watch soaps with the approval and advice of their parents and that they understand and love them. The respectability of soaps is evidenced by their inclusion in college seminars and writing courses and by their use in psycho -drama to help emotionally disturbed people. Soap watching, once an "Oh- no -no" with self -styled sophisticates and intellectuals is now out of the closet. Business executives, college professors, politicians and great entertainers watch soaps.
    What the soaps do best - their strength and allure - is the limning of the human condition in all its aspects... the joys, the sorrows; the triumphs, the defeats; the ecstacy and the pain of the mind, the body and the spirit; family love and conflict; the interrelationship of the generations; secrets of the mind and heart; self -revelation and self -deception; treachery, deceit and hypocrisy; suspicion and trust; loneliness, alienation and friendship; hope and despair; the pain of loss, the gratification of survival; surprise /disappointment; winning/losing. And the ultimate - life and death. And romance. Always romance and the many faces of love. Fans who can no longer recall the twists and turns in the General Hospital story lines of the Ice Princess and the Left -Handed Boy still remember the romance of Luke and Laura. Fans who have forgotten the drug smuggling caper in All My Children still remember the romance of Phil and Tara. And the popular triangle of Steve /Alice/ Rachel in Another World was resurrected this season, after seven years, in an effort to win back viewers. Large doses of romance, fantasy, wish -fulfillment seasoned with some excitement that can be savored in the safety of one's home and the intensity and intimacy of one -to -one relationships of people one can identify with and care about -these are the forces which will keep the soap operas spinning and keep the audiences in the same orbit.
    Dorothy Vine is a magazine writer whose speciality is the television serial scene.  
    • 8 replies
  12. Paul Raven added a post in a topic EW: Soap characters who got away with their crimes   

    That  'character getting away with crimes' trope really started in the 80's as another example of the shift in storytelling that took hold at that time.
    Can anyone think of examples of this before that time?
    What were the consequences for Vanessa on Y&R when she shot Lance?
    Rape seems to be the exception.I guess the attitude to this was different in the 60's/70's (at least as far as soaps were concerned) as it was something that was covered up and to be ashamed of.Usually with soap characters the rape occurred with someone the female character had an involvement with eg Bill Horton/Laura.Phil Brewer/Diana  etc.The male character was punished not by law but by losing the love of a woman,being shunned by the community or dying.
    Bill Bell was,I think the first writer to have a character raped by a stranger as an act of violence.
    Victor locking Michael Scott in the basement was an early example of a character getting away with a crime.Bill Bell must have justified it in some way.But it was part of a wave of storytelling that is now ridiculous in it's frequency.
    Of course, in real life,people do get away with crimes but the morality of soaps these days means writers can let characters do the most heinous things and get off scott free...
    • 0
  13. Paul Raven added a post in a topic As The World Turns Discussion Thread   

    I dont believe ATWT was  taped 3 months ahead  at that time.3 weeks ahead,yes.
    DM might have been 3months ahead in outlines,which gave the new writers clear indications of where to go with story.
    • 0
  14. Paul Raven added a post in a topic Y&R: Old Articles   

    Janice Lynde guest starred in the Morgan Fairchild/Granville Van Dusen Avengers rip off 'Escapade' pilot in 78. Guess projects like this made a return to soaps more palatable.
    • 0
  15. Paul Raven added a post in a topic As The World Turns Discussion Thread   

    Frankie Michaels,who played Tom Hughes as a child in the mid 60's has died aged 60.
    Frankie Michaels, the youngest person to win a Tony Award — which he earned in 1966, at 11, for his featured role in theBroadway musical “Mame” — died on March 30 at his home in Chittenango, N.Y. He was 60.
    The cause was a heart attack, said a friend, Steven Clark.
    Mr. Michaels, who was known in private life as Frankie Chernesky, was 11 years, 1 month and 11 days old when he received the Tony for playing the young Patrick Dennis, the nephew drawn into Auntie Mame’s irrepressible gravitational field. (Daisy Eagan, the youngest actress to receive a Tony, was about 11½ when she won in 1991 for “The Secret Garden.”)
    “Mame,” with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, also garnered Tonys for Angela Lansbury, who played the title role, and Beatrice Arthur as Mame’s friend Vera Charles.
    Though Mr. Michaels had been trained as a performer from the age of 3½, “Mame” was his only Broadway credit. After leaving the show at 12, he had a brief adolescent career as a nightclub singer, sharing bills in Las Vegas with the likes of Dean Martin and Danny Thomas.
    As an adult, Mr. Michaels worked as a lounge singer, voice and piano teacher and electronics repairman.
    Francis Michael Chernesky was born in Bridgeport, Conn., on May 5, 1955, the youngest of five children of Michael Chernesky, a lieutenant in the Bridgeport Fire Department, and the former Mary Bissett.
    As a young child he was able to pick out tunes by ear on the piano, and before long he was taking lessons in singing, dancing, piano, drums, vibraphone and acting. At 5, he played a piano duet in Bridgeport with a visiting Liberace.
    Frankie was already a veteran of “As the World Turns,” the CBS soap opera on which he had a regular role, when he was cast in “Mame.” For his work in the musical, he was paid $400 a week — about $3,000 in today’s money.
    He was so gifted, Mr. Herman later said, that he learned all his numbers, among them “My Best Girl” and “We Need a Little Christmas,” in a single day.
    Reviewing “Mame” in The New York Times, Stanley Kauffmann wrote: “The hazard with young performers is that either they look coached or, if they are gifted, are show-offs. Young Mr. Michaels is neither.”
    But Mr. Michaels found that the market for a child singer, especially one whose voice is changing, was limited, and by the time he was out of his teens he was more or less out of the profession.
    For two decades, until his retirement about eight years ago, Mr. Michaels serviced radios for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Until shortly before his death, he sang on weekends at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
    Mr. Michaels was married and divorced three times. His survivors include his companion, Lucille Bort; a son, Michael Lloyd Chernesky; a stepdaughter, Desiree Medlin; and a sister, Felicia Hreschak.
    About two years ago, Mr. Clark said, Mr. Michaels overcame an addiction to alcohol and cocaine that he had battled for some five years.
    In November, Mr. Michaels underwent quadruple-bypass surgery. In January, fearing that his time was limited, Mr. Clark said, he sold his Tony Award at auction for $18,750.
    The sale, Mr. Clark said, paid for Mr. Michaels’s funeral.
    • 0