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Soap WRITERS that should have broken out of Soapdom and what could have they done once they broke out?


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#1 allmc2008

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:33 AM

First of all we all know that there are some actors that broke out of the industry and made it big, however, I dont think there were any writers that made a dent in other mediums like movies and prime time. Of course there have been that went to soaps later in there career but none that went from soaps to other mediums. Also, since Daytime soaps are not really a "Genre" but a "medium", since they contain elements of several Genres also because they are formatted differently than other scripted shows, Good soap writers like Douglas Marland, Clair labine, and Lorraine Broderick, could really write for any primetime tv show or movie.

I would like to see what kind of show Claire Labine would create if HBO or Showtime approached her. Maybe she could create a Ryan's Hope type show set during WWII?

What are your thoughts?? Also, writers who passed away can be discussed as well.
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#2 JaneAusten

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:08 AM

The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Chuck Pratt who wrote for Melrose Place, Ugly Betty, Life Goes On, and now the Lying Game.

I think the writers you mentioned like Labine and Marland were writers who truly loved the daytime genre and had no interest in moving away from it where people like Pratt seemed to hold it in contempt to an extent and kept trying to write like they were primetime shows.

I am guessing that there are probably some script writers who moved onto writing outside of daytime

Off topic, Henry Slesar was a well known mystery writer before, during, and after his reign at Edge of Night.
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#3 RavenWhitney

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:25 AM

None...they are all alcoholic hacks...LOL....actually the question is which nighttime writers should have broken into daytime. I think many of the writers of Six Feet Under as well as the woman who created the new Dallas.
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#4 DRW50

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:38 AM

Considering how Cynthia Cidre's Dallas has all the soap elements of Car 54 Where Are You? I can't imagine how much worse she'd be in daytime.

I don't know which soap writers would have been better off in primetime. They're very different genres, and those in daytime not realizing that is what has killed the genre in the last few decades.

Maybe Harding Lemay.
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#5 Khan

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:46 AM

Considering how Cynthia Cidre's Dallas has all the soap elements of Car 54 Where Are You? I can't imagine how much worse she'd be in daytime.


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#6 teplin

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:38 PM

Ann Marcus alternated between daytime and prime time for most of her career, I believe.

I actually think Guza and Sheffer looked at daytime as a stepping stone to prime time and wrote their shows accordingly. Too bad for the soap medium that no nighttime producer snapped them up.

Henry Slesar wrote for a lot of procedural dramas prior to Edge of Night. Had he been younger, I think could have gone right back to them.
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#7 carolineg

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:05 PM

Ann Marcus alternated between daytime and prime time for most of her career, I believe.

I actually think Guza and Sheffer looked at daytime as a stepping stone to prime time and wrote their shows accordingly. Too bad for the soap medium that no nighttime producer snapped them up.

Henry Slesar wrote for a lot of procedural dramas prior to Edge of Night. Had he been younger, I think could have gone right back to them.



This will probably be unpopular, but I think Guza could be decent in primetime. It seems like it would be a better fit for him due to the quicker nature and shorter shelf life of the genre. The man knows how to pack a punch in a storyline (usually during sweeps) and he was initially very good at GH. His problems began over the years when he ran out of ideas, relied on only a few characters, killed off legacy characters very short sightedly, and began to reuse his best stories (the endless homages to Clink Boom, the montages of people getting shot set to dramatic music, etc) These problems probably wouldn't occur in primetime since most shows last around five years if they are lucky. I don't think Guza is a horrible writer, I just think he needs an EP that reigns him in. He rested on his laurels on GH and became far too lazy for the last 7 years of his run and JFP/Frons gave him far too much power and control. Solely based on his writng, though, I could see him being successful in primetime on a nightime soap or a teen show on the CW.
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#8 SFK

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:10 PM

Harding Lemay could have given us a classic PBS miniseries, like a modern American I, Claudius.
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#9 Khan

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:02 PM

Solely based on his writng, though, I could see him being successful in primetime on a nightime soap or a teen show on the CW.


He still could. It isn't as if the man is on life support. Posted Image

Harding Lemay could have given us a classic PBS miniseries, like a modern American I, Claudius.


Or a multi-generational series like "The Waltons," only darker and more complex.

Edited by Khan, 30 October 2012 - 05:02 PM.

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#10 Khan

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:06 PM

Pam Long tried to build a career outside of soaps, but "Christy" and "Second Noah" were hokier than hokey.
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#11 carolineg

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:46 PM


He still could. It isn't as if the man is on life support. Posted Image



Well, I feel like his career is on life support...........Posted Image Maybe CP will throw him a bone and let him work on the Lying Game, or worse JFP will hire him for Y&R.
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#12 EricMontreal22

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:23 PM

The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Chuck Pratt who wrote for Melrose Place, Ugly Betty, Life Goes On, and now the Lying Game.

I think the writers you mentioned like Labine and Marland were writers who truly loved the daytime genre and had no interest in moving away from it where people like Pratt seemed to hold it in contempt to an extent and kept trying to write like they were primetime shows.

I am guessing that there are probably some script writers who moved onto writing outside of daytime

Off topic, Henry Slesar was a well known mystery writer before, during, and after his reign at Edge of Night.

I'm not one to give Pratt props, and have not watched Lyign Game, but I think his real strength, if he had one, was in primetime campy soaps. His first year on Melrose Place as showrunner is my fave, and Models Inc, Titans, etc, created by him were guilty pleasures. It was too bad that he didn't seem to get daytime soaps should be written that way (truly, it seems to glaringly obvious that he would be the worse person to hire for AMC).
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#13 EricMontreal22

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:26 PM

Has anyone seen Agnes Nixon's miniseries, The Mannions of America, from 1981 with Pierce Brosnan and Kate Mulgrew about Irish immigrants to the USA? There are a few interviews at the time where she talks proudly of it, as she felt it was the story of her ancestors, and I believe it was even on VHS for a bit--but it seemed to get a lukewarm reaction. I think it's even mentioned as a project she wanted to do way back in 1976 in the book AllHer Children. Agnes Nixon was also priased for writing some 1950s primetime one off TV movies (back when they ahd so many live ones), but I've never been able to find which and where.

From Wiki:

Manions of America is a 6 hour mini-series for American television made in 1981. The subject of the series were Irish immigrants to the United States during the Great Famine of the mid-19th century. It was the first American role for actor Pierce Brosnan, co-starring Kate Mulgrew, David Soul and Linda Purl, and was directed by Joseph Sargent. Manions was written/created by Agnes Nixon creator of the now defunct "All My Children" a hit daytime soap for 40 years. Manions also starred Steve Forrest American actor and brother of Dana Andrews popular movie star in the 1940s, as Kate Mulgrew's character Rachel Manion's Uncle and owner of the powder mill in Philadelphia parts 2&3 of the three part mini series who begrudgingly hires Rachel's lover and future husband played by Pierce Brosnon.

Edited by EricMontreal22, 01 November 2012 - 07:28 PM.

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#14 chicklitsandfantasies

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:37 PM

I'm not one to give Pratt props, and have not watched Lyign Game, but I think his real strength, if he had one, was in primetime campy soaps. His first year on Melrose Place as showrunner is my fave, and Models Inc, Titans, etc, created by him were guilty pleasures. It was too bad that he didn't seem to get daytime soaps should be written that way (truly, it seems to glaringly obvious that he would be the worse person to hire for AMC).

The Lying Game sucks. It's boring and the actors are lackluster as hell. That'll probably end up canceled if the rating don't pick up next season. I remember the ratings being not so great for the majority of the first season. I gave up part of the way through.
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#15 Paul Raven

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:57 PM

Agnes had a primetime series announced Beggars and Choosers to begin May 77 and run through summer.

From Variety March 30th

BEGGARS AND CHOOSERS-Eleven-part series for ABC set against background of the cosmetic industry. Production to begin in May. Created by Agnes Nixon.

The June 16th issue said they had postponed because of a decision to go with film instead of tape and that it was planned for Spring of 78.

Of course that never eventuated.
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#16 SFK

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:30 PM

Interesting. That sounds very glamorous for Ms. Agnes.
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#17 Khan

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:38 AM

It sort of reminds me of all the cosmetics-themed stories she used to do on ALL MY CHILDREN and LOVING.
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#18 oakdalelover

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:21 AM

Jerome and Bridget Dobson wrote for the short lived prime time soap Emerald Point N.A.S.

Henry Slesar wrote for Executive Suite.

Richard and Esther Shapiro (Love of Life) wrote Dynasty
.
Robert and Eileen Mason Pollock (Doctors and GH) also wrote Dynasty.

Rick Edelstein (How to Survive a Marriage) wrote for several nighttime dramas in the 70's and 80's

Of course James Harmon Brown and Barbara Esensten wrote for Dynasty before writing trying to destroy for daytime.
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#19 jfung79

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:31 PM

Jessica Klein started on ATWT in the 80s and then wrote for Beverly Hills, 90210.

 

Tom Casiello wrote for soaps for over 10 years but now writes for the WWE.

 

James Lipton was a soap writer (he says Irna tried to train three people in her final days - Agnes Nixon, Bill Bell, and him, and he was the runt as well as the one who ended up leaving soaps) for a number of years, and he has done a variety of things since then.

 

David Kreizman wrote for a series for MTV in the early 2000s.

 

 

In general, it does seem people who wrote for both daytime and primetime started with primetime and then went to daytime though.

 

 

I think soap writers with an imagination could do well writing for science fiction series or movies, particularly those that have heavy emotional or character components or an epic feel to them.  In the UK, some of the biggest names in Doctor Who writing, including Russell T Davies, Gareth Roberts, and Paul Cornell currently, as well as Terrance Dicks, Don Houghton, and Malcolm Hulke back in the day, come from a soap writing background. 

 

For all that science fiction is not real, the characters have to be particularly rooted in real emotion for the fantastical story to have credibility with the audience and the situation to be credibly explored, which takes writers who understand character, how characters relate, and dialogue.  Those are soap writing strengths.  An audience can forgive clunky stereotypes with no depth to their characterization in a police procedural or medical drama more than it can in a show that is already asking you to take the leap to believe in another world.  There needs to be something real for the viewer to relate to, and a lot of that has to come from how characters are written.  This is particularly true on an ongoing sci-fi TV show.  (A movie can get by on special effects, and an anthology series like The Twilight Zone might just be able to get by on nifty concepts.) 


Edited by jfung79, 18 February 2013 - 11:22 PM.

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#20 Chris B

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:50 AM

[/Jerome and Bridget Dobson wrote for the short lived prime time soap Emerald Point N.A.S.

 

This shocks me considering how bad this show is. I have the complete series on DVD and it is painfully dull despite having a fantastic cast. It doesn't feel like a soap writer wrote it. That really blows me away!

 

Of course James Harmon Brown and Barbara Esensten wrote for Dynasty before writing trying to destroy for daytime.

 

They were part of David Paulsen's brilliant final season so I must give them some credit for being on his writing team.

 

I do wonder why soap writers don't seem to make it in primetime, surely many of them are good enough. I wonder who the next primetime writer to come to daytime will be. If Cynthia Cidre does ever join a daytime soap (which is likely since her primetime work is so poor), I pity that soap and their fans.


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