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Everything posted by Broderick

  1. In a rather lengthy video interview (during which she goes, "Ummmm" a whole lot), Kay Alden says that in the early months of Y&R, Bill Bell was utilizing two or three --- "ummm, I think it was two, ummmm maybe it was three" scriptwriters on the West Coast. According to her, both of them (or all three of them) quit about the same time in late 1973 or early 1974. This was shortly after she'd submitted a few "spec scripts" to Bell, which he'd paid her $50 each to write, even though he considered her scripts to be somewhat amateurish and overwritten. When the West Coast writers quit, Bell called her on a Friday and said, "I'm offering you a job and need for you to begin next week." She goes on to say that their "breakdown sessions" consisted of herself and Bill sitting down together in his apartment on Lake Shore Drive every morning. He would jot down a few ideas on a stenographer's pad, discuss the ideas with her in a bit more depth, then tear off the page, give it to her, and she would immediately begin penning the dialogue. By 5:00 p.m., she'd completed the script and Bell had reviewed it, made any changes he wanted to make, packaged it up, and had it ready for a courier service to pick up the package for overnight shipment to Los Angeles. She said it was a harrowing process (having to be finished and ready for delivery by 5:00 pm every day), but it was how they rolled for many, many months, with herself and Bell exclusively handling the scripting of each episode. But she says the rewarding aspect of it is that she and Bell developed a symbiotic relationship in which they could practically read each other's minds and always knew exactly what was expected of each other. (And in retrospect, this is probably the ideal method of scripting a thirty minute show. There's no misunderstanding between the head writer and the script writer, as the two of them are sitting by one another all day, can talk freely and ask questions, and can tweak things as they go. It's no wonder that the scripts were better -- and clearer as to character development and motivation -- while she and Bell were working together in this manner.)
  2. Linda Evans from "Dynasty" has that same "Ruined Chuckie Doll" look that Joan Van Ark opted for.
  3. I expect that's the case. And it's probably why Doug Davidson originally got the boot (so they can afford to continue paying larger than average salaries to the remaining old "headliners".)
  4. Ha, I was never convinced that Brad Carlton was "in love" with Traci, either, although many viewers assumed that he was since he "said" he was. Bell was very adept at finding real-life situations and dramatizing them in such a way that the motives remained a little bit murky. (We've recently discussed the maternal or not-so-maternal feelings of Kay Chancellor toward Joann Curtis, as another example of that.) I can recall a scene in which Brooke Logan on B&B basically said to Stephanie Forrester, "You're just jealous that you can't have Ridge for yourself!", and Stephanie slapped her jaws resoundingly. I often wondered why Stephanie slapped her so hard. Was it because Brooke's accusation was absurd, or was it because it hit too close to home? Vanessa Prentiss was more gothic and creepy than Stephanie of course, so her motivations toward her son were even murkier than Stephanie's were. We've often seen, in real-life, women who dote on a son, either because he's her oldest, or because he reminds her of her father, or because he reminds her of her own brother who died in the war, or whatever. Bell seemed very attuned to that phenomenon, and was willing to take it as far as good taste allowed, or even slightly farther. We've also seen him do the same thing with fathers and daughters --- specifically Stuart Brooks and his most headstrong, independent daughter (Lorie); John Abbott and Our Beauty; and I've recently been reminded that Stephanie Forrester didn't particularly want Kristin to return from New York to Los Angeles, because she was afraid too much of Eric's attention would be focused on the attractive little Kristin. lol. Obviously none of us expected Vanessa to attempt a seduction of Lance, or Stephanie to attempt that with Ridge, but it's interesting to contemplate how deeply the feelings of the mothers actually ran, how aware or unaware the sons were of those feelings, and what went through the actor's minds when they played those scenes.
  5. There's probably not much future in television for actors who refuse to be vaccinated. (There's also probably not much future in television for an actor who calls his show's few remaining fans "morons", lol.)
  6. I don't remember it being "offensive" or anything. There's no "Mister Prentiss" of course, and there's no Lucas (yet), so Lance was kind of the only man in her life. If I remember right, it just came across as an old lady waltzing with her son, as a woman might do at her son's wedding, and really enjoying herself. Of course the Oedipal Complex was WELL into play by then, but really no worse than we saw ten years later with Stephanie Forrester and Ridge on B&B.
  7. As long as he looks younger than Nick & Sharon, he'll be ok I guess. My problem with Adamson is that he looked to be about the same age as his parents.
  8. Naw, it wouldn't have held any interest. Not unless you enjoyed lines such as Mr. Conway's favorite, "That Bennett scum is gonna marry our Jody, damn it!" lol. It was terrible. The whole thing played out again three years later when Dorothy & Wayne Stevens stood around saying, "That Williams scum is gonna marry our April, damn it!" after they discovered Paul was the father of Heather. You'd think so, based on the timing. In June of 1977 Brock tells Chris, "Surprise! I'm a lawyer!" Now, in July, he's in court with her. But I believe that's only part of it. Bell could've easily had Chris call Greg off-screen and get a recommendation for an attorney. John Conboy could've cast a charismatic young dayplayer in the role, and the audience would've said, "Oh, this is the guy Greg recommended; he must be okay," and it would've worked out fine. But I believe Bell specifically wanted to "deepen" the role Beau Kayzer played a little bit. Brock was a unique character on daytime. He was a spiritual character, and his spirituality was the characteristic that most heavily defined him. He quoted scripture often, but not in a preachy manner -- he made it applicable to life and to the circumstances that other characters were experiencing. (I've often imagined that Bill Bell, a Catholic, had likely been inspired to create Brock by some young priest in the Chicago Archdiocese who was helping people deal with problems in a more unorthodox, less preachy manner.) Unfortunately, Brock's spirituality made him difficult to present as a young leading man in romantic situations. He had platonic friendships with Jill and with all four of the Brooks sisters. But he wasn't seen as a "sexual" character, which was difficult on a show that dealt primarily with love and sex. Brock had to be placed in a central location (the Allegro) where he could interact with virtually everyone and offer his wise spiritual advice to the characters who needed it. Making Brock into an attorney created a new layer where Brock could "outsmart" a "wicked" character like Ron Becker in 1977 or Rose DeVille in 1979 or Victor Newman in 1980, and the audience could view Brock as not only spiritually wise, but also as street smart. This aspect WORKED, because it made Brock into a heroic character, although he never really was a romantic leading man by any stretch of the imagination.
  9. I'd forgotten that Brock Reynolds on Y&R pulled his, "Surprise! I'm an attorney" trick in 1977. I was thinking it was more like 1979, when he suddenly became law partners with Greg Foster. But there it is, in black & white.
  10. Thanks, folks! I was a fan of Wesley Eure (mainly from "Land of the Lost" on Saturday mornings), and was pretty sure I'd witnessed Wesley being "less than a man" on Days of Our Lives during that same time period, until Linda came along and got his all of his man parts operating again, lol. [That entire episode seems to be based on the 1953 Broadway play "Tea & Sympathy" where the boy in prep school feels "less than a man" and is tormented by a more aggressive male whose sympathetic and understanding wife eventually pops the sensitive boy's cherry.]
  11. Yeah, I thought Eric Peters (on Days) and Kay Chancellor were both bisexual characters, and that Bill Bell was just "edgy" enough to slide that on through to our screens, without beating us over the head with it. Of course in the case of Kay Chancellor, there was always the issue of her fundamental, unfulfilled loneliness -- and her desperate need to be loved -- that made her sexual preferences and motivations a bit murkier. Wasn't there also a more flagrant storyline on "Days" during this same time period when Wesley Eure's character flat-out questioned his heterosexuality? (I didn't watch "Days" as often as I watched Y&R, so perhaps I'm mistaken.) But I'm pretty sure it was about 1976 or 1977, and Mike Horton had pretty much decided that he was gay. Linda Patterson "cured" him, and he forged ahead as heterosexual, although the actor was who played Mike was gay and the seeds had been planted in the audience's mind that perhaps the character was bisexual as well.
  12. My feeling is that the purpose of "Ma Henderson" (and her brief appearance) was just to cement that Liz Foster and Bruce Henderson were siblings. It seemed that Bill Bell put a lot of thought into the Henderson family -- Bruce Henderson, Mrs. Regina Henderson, Mark Henderson and the never materialized but heavily previewed Russell Henderson -- and wanted to be sure we understood they were Liz's relatives, although they existed in a different socio/economic sphere of the show. I've always felt that the tanned/blonde/bored Jennifer Brooks and the bored Regina Henderson were merely "prototypes" of a certain character that Bell really WANTED to write, but couldn't locate *exactly* the correct actress or *exactly* the correct characterization he was seeking. He ultimately found his actress (Jeanne Cooper) and his characterization (drunk, bored, haughty, vain, needy, resourceful, vengeful). The Kay Chancellor character kinda made both Jennifer and Regina obsolete, and Bell's attitude seemed to be "off with their heads".
  13. All of that business with Jane Wilcox, Frank, and Sally seemed to be WAY off-track regarding the actual storyline, which of course was the triangle of Chris, Snapper, and Sally. I could never tell if it was merely "writers strike material", or if it was a device Bill Bell designed to postpone the marriage of Snapper and Chris, realizing that although the audience wanted to see them married, their marriage would likely be fairly uneventful and dull, effectively killing the appeal of two of his major "finds" (William Grey Espy and Trish Stewart). In hindsight, I'm pretty pleased with the culmination of the Joann/Kay Chancellor storyline. I appreciate that Bell left a certain amount of ambiguity in Kay Chancellor's intentions toward the girl. Yes, Kay declared that her feelings toward Mrs. Curtis were maternal, but Kay Chancellor was a character known to lie. Bell seemed to wink at the audience and say, "It's up to you whether or not you believe Kay Chancellor." Audience members who were horrified by lesbianism or bisexuality obviously chose to believe Kay's assertion that her feelings were maternal; the rest of said, "Yeah, right." lol.
  14. Thanks for the monthly synopsis and for the script summaries! (For a while, there were some clips of Joan Crawford & KT Stevens in "Harriet Craig" on You Tube.)
  15. I'm not quite sure that I remember/understand why Geraldine Whitney on "Edge of Night" is working so hard to get Raven married off to Kevin Jamison. Poor Draper can barely get untangled from her, and she appears to be Ansel's waterloo. As others have mentioned, these summaries are written so much better than Soap Opera Digest. I appreciate you sharing them on the board.
  16. Yes, reading between the lines, I would guess that McCook, Flannery, Moss, and Lang had similar salaries going into 2012. We know that Flannery opted to retire circa 2012 (probably the moment she was offered the $300,000 or so cut), as she was in her 70s and could afford retirement. Moss was 60, and probably thought he'd be ok not working steadily -- he had $1,200,000 in his IRA, along with his residence and his rental property, according to the court documents -- so he also bailed out. McCook and Lang evidently quietly accepted the smaller salary and went on about their business, possibly with some negotiation that left them with a (slightly) higher salary than what was initially offered to Moss. I suppose this "salary tangent" is in a sense, Y&R-related as the two are considered "sister shows" and both Shari Shattuck and John McCook have previously appeared on Y&R. The reason I wandered into this rabbit hole is simply to state that Y&R actors probably shouldn't be expecting raises in a climate where talent is routinely given substantial cuts to meet the ever-declining soap budget.
  17. There's a minimum that an actor can earn, which is often referred to as "scale". There's a certain "scale" for walk-ons, another "scale" for Under Fives, and another "scale" for contract actors. It's on the SAG-AFTRA page. In 2017, scale for a principal actor on an hour show was $1,038 per day. Scale for a principal actor on a half-hour show was $778. Scale for an under five on an hour show was $451 and on a half-hour show was $369. If the day lasts longer than 8 1/2 hours, there's an increase in each category. They're also guaranteed a break for a meal, and principals are guaranteed a closing (or opening) credit at least once a week, typically on Monday or Friday whenever possible. Ditto for writers, producers, and directors. Their union guarantees them a certain "scale". Their "scale" is higher on an hour-long show than on a half-hour show. In the past, we've seen most everyone on soaps earning way, way above scale. Evidently that trend is coming to an end, and salaries are being adjusted downward considerably, in light of the tighter budget restrictions. Clearly, Moss's offer of $400,000 is still FAR above scale, but for newer, younger actors, I wouldn't be surprised if some of them are being signed at scale. If Moss were going to be used 3 times a week, 52 weeks a year, he'd have a total of 156 episodes a year. At $400,000, that would be $2,564 per episode, as compared with "scale" of $778 for an actor on a half-hour show. So even a "big-name star" like Ron Moss was being adjusted down to "scales times three", which is pretty low for someone who'd been driving story for 25 years. Not saying I sympathize with him at all, just saying that's a BIG drop. Y'all can google "Ronn Moss vs Shari Shattuck" and get all the details
  18. Plus he had to continue paying Miss Shattuck the same amount of child support as he'd paid when he was making $700,000 per year. (The "telling" aspect of the ordeal was that his new 2012 contract [$400,000] was for a ONE-year deal, not three or five. So they likely planned to bump him down even lower the following year. That's why he seemed to bail-out. He should've known he'd never have an income approaching $400,000 without B&B.)
  19. Yep, he went into great detail about having to sell a house and make withdrawals from his IRA in order to pay his bills. He asked that his monthly child support payments be reduced as a result. The judge basically said, "Naw, you should've taken the $400,000 they offered you." I can see both sides of it. Why would he want to continue working the same number of hours as before for about half the earnings? But on the other hand, how do you go from $700,000 income to $0? It would be a tough choice for a lot of actors, I guess. But that seems to be the reality that soap actors have been dealing with for the past ten or fifteen years. Raises seem pretty nonexistent, and very drastic pay cuts are the reality of the industry.
  20. I think a request for an actual raise on a daytime soap is probably out of the question. A "raise" on a soap seems to be not taking a deep paycut at the end of a contract cycle. There's no big mystery why Ronn Moss left B&B. When his multi-year contract deal expired in 2012, they bumped his pay from $700,000 to year down to $400,000 per year. And he was probably at that time the biggest "star" on the show. His pay was reduced by virtually 50%, and he said, "No thanks!" They replaced him with a non-working actor who was willing to settle for the smaller amount. (All of that is disclosed in court documents relating to child support obligations). If the girl who played Hilary Curtis was offered the same amount as her previous contract, without a 50% decrease, that's probably about as close as a soap performer is gonna get to a raise.
  21. Good question. I'm guessing he just recycled the title of a soap that never happened. His 1972 prep-work on Y&R seemed to happen rather quickly, and in a backwards fashion. First, he got the greenlight to go ahead with his project, and only then did he begin working on his bible and character outlines, which evidently underwent several major revisions before making it to the screen.
  22. I bet "Just Plain Bill" hated wasting an entire day with that reporter, though he managed to score a martini and a bloody Mary by early afternoon. Bill Bell had to be under a lot of pressure in 1973 --- writing breakdowns for Days of Our Lives and the entire 30-minute script for Y&R -- plus he was evidently monitoring several other daytime shows as well. And then to have a reporter waste such a big chunk of his day. Bet he ending up spending that entire night on his IBM Selectric having Snapper lay something pretty heavy on Chris.
  23. Yeah, hopefully they got Stafford at a deeply discounted, fire-sale price, because she's pretty much contributed nothing since she came back.
  24. Most definitely! She'd been directing the show for seventeen years, and she'd been a line producer for four years. She knew the show backwards and forwards, how it should flow, how it should sound, how it should look. And she had a spark of creativity in her episodes that few others seemed to have. She was passed over for executive producer in favor of someone else who appeared to have never watched the show before. But such is life!
  25. Wasn't it Mary Ellis Bunim (former producer of World Turns in the mid-1980s) who created the show, about fifteen years later, where the two heiresses (Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie) go "slumming" for fun? I'm not diminishing Lily as a character. As FrenchBug82 explained far more eloquently than I did, it appears that the "poverty tour" was an integral part of Lily's motivation and characterization that simply wasn't addressed other than in the subtext of the scenes. On the superficial surface, Lily was looking for a warm home full of love, and she felt she'd found that with the Synders. But she could've found that in a variety of other places (including her own home, with a little more effort on her part). She seemed to have a pre-"Paris Hilton Complex" where we can spend our days entertaining ourselves in poverty, and then rush home to our trust funds at night.
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