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mikelyons

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  1. This quite wonderful article about PEYTON PLACE is wonderful because it mentions how the show's duration and stable writing team were the show's "hidden asset": Duration was Peyton Place’s hidden asset. Its creators had the luxury to build characters over the course of years rather than within the confines of a fifty-minute hour. Because the writing staff was relatively stable after the first year, Peyton Place developed a terrific institutional memory. Complex characters remained emotionally consistent throughout years of labyrinthine plot twists. Betty Anderson, one of only three regulars who lasted for the whole five-year run, may have benefited most from the writers’ skill for deepening and reinventing their characters. They paired Betty romantically with lawyer Steven Cord (James Douglas), a fellow social striver whose illegitimacy gave him a world-class inferiority complex. (...) The writers also threw out frequent callbacks to Betty’s past with Rodney, reuniting them occasionally for what-might-have-been scenes in which they came awkwardly to terms with their failed marriage and lost child. With years of backstory to draw upon, O’Neal and Parkins could play varied notes of jealousy, ruefulness, sweetness, and mordant humor, building an emotional array that could only exist in a series with the longevity and continuity of Peyton Place. https://www.avclub.com/why-institutional-memory-was-peyton-place-s-hidden-asse-1798241844 It got me thinking about daytime soaps and their institutional memories. I always felt Y&R lost theirs when Kay Alden was dumped in 2006 which is part of the reason the show is listless today. From what I recall of Jill Farren Phelps' Locher Room interview, she took Mary O'Leary (please correct me if this is the wrong person) from GUIDING LIGHT when she moved to ANOTHER WORLD and O'Leary was considered the walking encyclopedia of GL. Could losing their "expert" have been part of the reason GL never recovered? Can we think of other examples where losing the person who "knew" the show either hurt it or, in the inverse, made a soap opera stronger?
  2. Cynthia Popp produces and directs THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. She also directed a few episodes of FRASIER. Deveney Kelly has directed for B&B, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, and DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Sally is a great director. Actually, she directed the first post-Lynn Marie Latham, first Maria Bell episode of Y&R. She took the show back to basics by turning down the lights, opening tight on a shot of real flowers, and finding Nikki in the Newman living room. I don't know if that episode is online, but it's worth a look, especially if you compare it to LML's reign of destruction.
  3. JFP said in an interview when she was hired at Y&R that Genie was safe and they had a good working relationship. In less than a month, Genie was fired. Guess she's not an FOJ, a term Jill used during her interview. I'll never have time or patience for JFP FOJ's.
  4. She said she doesn't enjoy firing people. I nearly gagged. She doesn't have a problem firing Genie Francis. She basically confirmed a lot of the rumors I'd heard internally about her time on Y&R, what she was tasked to do, how much the network pushed back, and what they changed after they fired her. Good riddance.
  5. Renée Elise Goldsberry talks ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Tika Sumpter, Frank Valentini, HAMILTON, and much more on today's episode of NPR's FRESH AIR. https://www.npr.org/2021/06/22/1008866029/renee-elise-goldsberry-girls5eva-hamilton
  6. I'd totally be interested. There's so little surviving of WHERE THE HEART IS, that any piece of the show is welcome.
  7. If you want to share it, you can post it to your Google Drive or MediaFire. Just change the name from "Where the Heart Is" to avoid the Internet police. That's how I privately share things from time to time.
  8. It could be a soap by soap thing or simply depends on how good your agent is. Apparently, former OLTL co-head writer Allison "Sam" Hall, he "created and developed the storyline and numerous characters in the series. Paragraph 3 of the Agreement memorialized obligations of ABC for payment of certain compensation to Wildercliff, Ltd. and a weekly royalty to Hall, personally, 'as long as ONE LIFE TO LIVE is broadcast'..." Hall received a weekly royalty of $1,000 a week until January 13, 2012. Complaint: https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/one-life-to-live-writer-abc-hulu-lawsuit-1__140109200021.pdf
  9. The "theme"/"baseline" from MA PERKINS: “The ‘baseline’ of MA PERKINS is the Golden Rule. Another way of stating this is that every sequence demonstrates Ma as an active, although not interfering, practicing Christian. Truth, honesty, loyalty — doing unto other rather than doing others…these principles Ma believes are never to be compromised.” I think she understood that the life of the housewife wasn't ideal, but she wanted to create a world where the ideal was attainable, although not without its own issues. Ruth Warrick said in her Academy interview that all of the couples were with the wrong people and that's part of the reason people identified and enjoyed the show. ------------------------------------ Episode #9 of SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (Second Revision) written by Agnes Nixon. She wove the theme of SFT into dialogue between Joanne and Keith. Page 14 JOANNE: Keith, be reasonable. KEITH: Me?…You’re not looking any father than your nose, Jo….There’s a lot more to it than just the day-to-day bills. A man had to think of the future - plan for tomorrow. JOANNE: That’s what I’m thinking of too…We all search for tomorrow - because it holds the promise of happiness. KEITH: Don’t you want it to hold the promise of security too? JOANNE: Of course! But security is something inside yourself. You can’t buy it or sell it or put it in a bank. KEITH: That sounds real fine when you say it… But I’m not so sure anymore, Jo….I’m just not so sure. FADE OUT. (MUSIC: BRIDGE) (SECOND COMMERCIAL)
  10. As close as we'll get to the original theme from AS THE EARTH TURNS. This is from the original pilot, which was used to sell the show & never aired on television. "…This, then, is the broad base of our storyline. We would like to stress the point of “AS THE EARTH TURNS” is not a melodrama. It is the story of people. It might well be said that the life of each of us is a serial story. Heredity and environment shape our destinies. As it is true for us, so it is true for the Hughes family. The experiences of these people are predictable as the changing seasons, and as unpredictable as nature itself. What happens to them to so many of us who are subject to the many influences, pressures, of everyday living in this particular era - an era that is breeding insecurity, feat, almost futility. But as long as this is a springtime and a harvest, as long as the earth turns, nothing is futile." ------------------------------- This is from the original bible of THE EDGE OF NIGHT (originally known as WORLD WITHIN) by Irving Vendig. I copied all of the original misspellings, etc. to maintain the integrity of the documents. My original paragraph on World Within Read: PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS: “Everyone has a World Within --- a world he alone knows. We live ON a world that spins around the sun ---We live IN a personal world created out of ourselves --- the stuff we are.” Perhaps all I did was restate Hamlet. “This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” Or ---- The late Perry Mason radio show: “...defender of human rights, champion of all those who seek justice.” "In our presentation, we said “The World Within is the exciting love story of Mike Karr and Sara Lane...etc...” "The excitement comes in part from Mike’s character, a great deal from Mike’s job. Because of what Mike is (his world within) and because of his occupation, he too is a “defender of human rights, a champion of all those who seek justice.” Excitement and emotion will also come from Sara and her conflicts...her “world within”. Bother before and after their marriage will be a world touching but apart from Mike’s work - world. And so...while Sara will share Mike’s zeal to help the worthy underdog, her world is apart from his....these are facets of his work she can’t understand just as there will be home problems he can’t understand...and hence...as case after case develops...we will have a background of Sara and Mike’s lives, and their personal problems and adjustments which must be met and solved or delayed while Mike and Sara go about their everyday affairs...even as you and I. "So, we return to the original concept for World Within (we never really wanted very far) which God know is a (( inclusive enough to embrace every human problem. Mike is a detective whose instinct is for the underdog. Because Mike is honest from the bones out, it’s a deserving underdog. We know he’s deserving because he seeks justice, is not afraid of justice, and because Mike is for Him. Because of Mike’s nature, and within the framework of his job, Mike will see the underdog gets justice, even if it means trouble and danger. Sara loves Mike for what he is. If he weren’t true to himself he couldn’t be true to her. But...she’s human, and there’ll be times when she wishes Mike could reserve a little more of his day for her. "Paradoxically, there may come a time when Sara defends a person Mike doesn’t think deserves that much sympathy. As a specific example, there’s her brother Jack. Mike will do all he can for Jack...but when it appears Jack steps into trouble wilfully, Mike doesn’t feel Jack has the right to Sara’s infinite patience. In this specific interest, Sara is right --- for she’s had the chance to see things in Jack that Mike hasn’t seen. In the resolution of this particular sequence, both Sara and Mike will have learned a lesson, as a result, the world created by their love will be that much better...and so it will go all their lives. Broadly, and story-wise, it seems to me that our story attack was right from the beginning, too. In an exciting, close-to-home story, we give Mike and Sara deep histories before they are married. After their marriage, we show their homelife and adjustment struggles against the background of a succession of cases that derive directly from Mike’s work. "The case will be the basis of the sequence as it was on the Parry (sic) Mason radio show --- the important difference being that now we have protagonists who are people, and who have human problems that ca be followed as the case builds, develops, and is solved. The story won’t be told from Mike or Sara’s viewpoint exclusively...but from whichever viewpoint (at the time) gives the best dramatic or emotional view. "To sum up, as in the Mason radio show we will meet a succession of interesting people with dramatically interesting problems...plus Mike and Sara...Mike and Sara who hold our story together and who are people in their own right, people who will continue to grow, adjust, make mistakes....learn from those mistakes --- in short --- people who are alive!"
  11. No one except Bill Bell knew how to write for Jill Foster Abbott. Kay Alden got a lot right, but by the mid-2000s, Jill was a shell of her former self. The same can be said for Ashley Abbott and Victor Newman. I give the actors who played all three roles with knowing their characters so well that they rose above dubious writing. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I never felt a lot of the writers from the mid-90s onward really understood Erica Kane. Agnes Nixon, Wisner Washam, and Lorraine Broderick were the only three who seemed to be clued into what made Erica tick, cry, and rage. Again, Lucci knew her character so well, she was ALWAYS Erica no matter where the writers took the character. I think not knowing how to write for legacy characters is endemic of a lot of soap operas. In general, the writing team can change with the head writer, so all of the institutional knowledge about how to write said characters goes out the window. Recently, it seems that head writers come and go, but the dialogue and breakdown writers can be stable. We can't forget that head writers get paid a royalty every time they create a new character. Lastly, I think the reason some characters stay around long past their prime is because they're popular with executives, producers, and the audience. If you have that golden triangle, you're set. Unless you're Genie Francis and JFP has been hired to produce the show you're on...
  12. Chuck Pratt didn't even write breakdowns on ALL MY CHILDREN, so I doubt he wrote a good bible for SUNSET BEACH. Bell, Nixon, and Hess (LOVE OF LIFE) wrote very specific bibles. They set their shows during a time and a place which was real to them. Nothing felt phony because it was rooted in their truth. I can't say if soap opera writers today do that. Irna was a master as using themes and character history to build up to the moment you're introduced to the characters. It's not hard to get right, but if you don't know how to structure a bible, it can be very daunting. Since Irna created out first soap opera (and she did a bible of sorts for it), I'd say she's the master of the soap opera bible followed by Agnes Nixon? Why Agnes? She wrote the bible for the first successful TV soap opera, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, the first half-hour soap opera, AS THE WORLD TURNS, and Bill Bell had a copy of her ALL MY CHILDREN (circa-1965) bible in his archive. I think that speaks volumes!
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