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Writers strike 1988


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#1 FrenchFan

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:37 PM

As I'm working on 1988 synopses these days, I was wondering about the Writers strike. I tried to find info on most shows but I'm sure you could bring more details to me.


AMC: No particular information
AW: Sheri Anderson was hired in February and new EP Michael Laibson had Lemay rehired.
ATWT: Douglas Marland was still credited as “story by”
BB / YR: Bell must have kept in charge
DAYS: No partical information
GH: Gene Palumbo was made HW after the strike. Don’t know exactly when Norma Monty left and when he took over. Did he write during the strike?
GL: Pam Long was still credited, a la Marland.
LOV: Joseph Hardy must have taken over as EP during the strike and Tom King & Millee Taggart replaced Ralph Ellis just after the strike but I don’t have much info.
OLTL: No particular information
RH: Labine mother & daughter came back after the strike
SB: Guza & Anne Howard Bailey came back after the strike
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#2 RavenWhitney

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:03 PM

AW The show was written by Donna Swajeski during the writer's strike, along with Michael Zazlow (Roger on GL) and his wife Susan Hufford, Narissa Radel, Janet Iacubuzio and Mimi Leahy. All of whom were hired after the writer's strike. Harding Lemay came in to write for 9 weeks to fulfill contract requirements then P&G fired him.

DOOL: Leah Laiman and Anne Schoettle left a long story bible and were credited throughout the strike as "story by"


GL: Pam Long didn't leave a long bible so the show sucked as it was written by producers, scabs and P&G staff
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#3 LoyaltoAMC

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:09 PM

AMC: Broderick had been writing solo til the strike. Supposedly, with a little ghost-writing help from Agnes, EP Steve Schenkel did the lion's share of the writing during the strike. It was decided, justifiably, to place the Cindy/AIDS story on hold til the strike was over, so they married off Stuart/Cindy at the beginning of the strike and sent them to Paris, along with Adam & Brooke. These four characters were off the canvass nearly the entire summer of 88. Besides the Palmer/Natalie stuff, almost everything seemed like filler.
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#4 EricMontreal22

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:30 PM

Except didn't the strike writers kill off Jessie in a more permanent way than planned? Agnes was still officially credited as "Exec Head Writer" at AMC throughout the 80s, though she relenquished on screen credit for much of that.

Edited by EricMontreal22, 07 March 2012 - 06:30 PM.

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#5 JAS0N47

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:01 PM

For "Days", the dialogue writers and story consultant Pat Falken Smith went on strike as of the 3/30/88 episode. The breakdown writers were last listed on 4/8/88.

Leah Laiman and Anne M. Schoettle were listed as "Story by" from 4/13/88-9/13/88.

The whole staff was back on 9/14/88.
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#6 DRW50

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:32 PM

When I find it again I will post the 1988 SOD article where writers talked about the strike and how it affected their shows.

Ann Marcus (for GH), Anne Howard Bailey (for SB), Leah Laiman (for DAYS), Claire Labine (for RH), Pam Long (for GL). They said that Bailey and Marcus (I think) were gone by the time the article went to print.
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#7 dc11786

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:46 PM

In regards to "Loving," I've always seen in listed in SOD that Taggert and King took over when the show returned from the strike.

From your wording, I'm not sure if you were aware Labine wrote "Ryan's Hope" before the strike for a good year to eighteen months, I believe.
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#8 DRW50

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 04:19 AM

From a Dec. 1988 Digest

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image
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#9 Wendy

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:01 PM

Thanks for the scan. What a fascinating read. Explains so much about SB (the soap I watched in '88) and why it was so haphazard.
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#10 LoyaltoAMC

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 06:09 PM

I remember a quote from McTavish, who I guess was breakdown writer at AMC at that point. She was upset because she had Brooke/Adam have some huge arguement before she left town for a week. Brooke returned in one of the first scab scripts, and they were all lovey-dovey, as if nothing had happened.
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#11 soapfan770

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 06:33 PM

I know by this point Ryan's Hope had low ratings, but was the writer's strike the final nail in the coffin for the show sort of like Moonlighting?
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#12 juppiter

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:45 PM

kind of hypocritical thing for Laiman to say considering she got her big break during the 1981 strike.
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#13 DRW50

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:52 PM

What show was she writing for in 1981?

I think Claire did blame the strike for hurting her momentum, and hurting the show, but ultimately I don't think it made a difference.
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#14 FrenchFan

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 04:54 AM

It must have been General Hospital as she replaced Pat Falken Smith with Thom Racina and Robert J. Shaw for a few months before the Corringtons took over in very late 1981.
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#15 DRW50

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:02 AM

Thanks. And thank you for answering my AMC question!
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#16 Chris B

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:44 AM

From what I've read, it was very sad when the writers strike happened, because Ryan's Hope was canceled just a couple months later and prior to the strike Claire Labine had totally revived the show, in terms of quality. It's a shame she didn't get to ride that final year out on her own terms, but at least she got to end the show in a high and managed several returns.
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#17 Soaplovers

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 06:49 PM

Interesting that Pam Long stated that she had approved of the actress playing Blake... and it sounds like she was trying to continue what the scab writers had written for Blake... kind of funny that they had no idea who Blake was making calls too LOL You would have thought the scab writers would have known who she was speaking with LOL Interesting that Pam Long had Blake's character planned out... did it involve being Roger/Holly's daughter... or did that end up happening cause of the scab's total inept writing of the story? Though I think the scab's writing of Sonni actually enhanced the story... you had no idea who sonni was... and since the scabs had no idea how it would end.. I think it enhanced the mystery.

Santa Barbara seemed like a hot mess in 1988... though I'm glad Mason/Julia triumphed... though I do agree recasting Kelly so quickly was a mistake.

I remember Days being awesome in 1988... and I do remember Roman being brainwashed... interesting that the original story was going to be for someone else.. I always find it interesting that Leah Laiman was head-writer of the show in the late 80's and this era was considered a fairly strong era... wonder why her later stints on AW and ATWT were so uneven at best...
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#18 juppiter

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 12:43 AM

The way the scabs handled the Sonni/Solita storyline seems to have made it legendary.
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#19 Khan

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 12:03 PM

I always find it interesting that Leah Laiman was head-writer of the show in the late 80's and this era was considered a fairly strong era... wonder why her later stints on AW and ATWT were so uneven at best...


I wouldn't say her era at DAYS was "strong." To me, DAYS seemed to be on auto-pilot at that point, with one, routine supercouple plot after another. Patch and Kayla's wedding hit number-one, though, because many, many viewers had invested heavily in their story.

The way the scabs handled the Sonni/Solita storyline seems to have made it legendary.


In more than one way, too. ;)
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#20 Jonathan

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:15 PM

Except didn't the strike writers kill off Jessie in a more permanent way than planned? Agnes was still officially credited as "Exec Head Writer" at AMC throughout the 80s, though she relenquished on screen credit for much of that.


I don't believe Agnes held that title until around 1992, when McTavish was officially the head writer.
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