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AMC: Lorraine and Wisner


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Does anyone know? Any whatsoever tiny, tiny information? Something I missed? :unsure:

I mean, Lorraine Broderick taught Chinese literature at Wesleyan until 1979 - her IMDB page lists that, as you all know - and then she became the assistant to writers on AMC.

How on Earth did that happen - from Wesleyan to ABC? :blink:

About Wisner... I don't know a thing. But I would love to find out!

But I loved it when soaps used to hire people from academia back then. :wub:

Anyone? :unsure:

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I don't know anything about either, but I do agree that soaps need to start hiring people this way again. Stop with the recycling of writers from each soap. There's no originality anymore. Plus, fans don't even give a recycled writer a chance to write a new show. Immediately, they're blasted for what they may have done on another show, and how they're going to do the same thing to the show they're currently writing. I'm guilty of doing this, myself.

I would love for soaps to bring in new blood. Hire writers out of college as part of the writing team. Train them on the show's history and how the show used to be, and should be written. Then, once they are confident enough and show that they can do the job, give them the head writer job. That seems like a plausible way of doing things.

Unfortunately, with the budgets being slashed every year, and the ratings at all time lows, a lot of soaps can no longer afford to take the risks of trying to find someone new and only hoping the new writer catches on with fans. Back in the day, soaps could take the time and fork out the money to bring in new blood and spend years training the new writers. Now, that can't happen as often.

It's sad.

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One of the biggies back then is that the networks pretty much didn't care who mavericks like Agnes Nixon or William J. Bell hired. Their major interference was with controversial stories and sex and stuff like that.

Soaps were making big money for the networks and the hirings of writers and stuff was pretty much left alone.

When soaps started losing money for the networks or at least not making the big surplus they were - the networks felt they had to get more involved. Remember in the 70's daytime was providing money for the networks and with that money they could afford to give a good show like Hill Street Blues more of a chance to catch on. Primetime has never made the money overall for the networks that daytime did. Now they were losing that - so they felt they had to get more involved.

I think they have the philosophy of going with the "known" over giving someone a chance. Hopefully now that Ron Carlivati has been accepted by fans for the most part and critics - then we might see more people get a chance - instead of just seeing the constant recycling.

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Yes, I asked a genuine question even though I knew that there was a really, really tiny probability that someone would know the answer. And I find it really hard to believe that Lorraine or Wisner haven't talked about this - it's not like they've been in soaps for a year or so.

Lorraine has been writing for soap operas for 26 years! You'd think someone would have asked her: How did you end up writing soaps?

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Wisner worked at AMC from very early on--there's a lot of interviews with him in the great 1976 book All Her Children--I believe he was married to an actress on the show. So he was around from at leat '73 or '74--I don't have the book here but I think he talks about how he was hired--I can check for you this weekend.

I wanna say Lorraine Broderick was a fan of the show in the 70s--I remember reading that somewhere--and approached them but I have nothing to verify that. AMC did have a pretty good rep for being a "soap for sophisticates and intellectuals" in the 70s (I believe that's how Time rated it in their soap rankings)--partly because of the good press Dan Wakefield's All Her Children got (of course that book and his huge fandom for the show brought him to collaborate with Agnes on Loving but his name was dropped and replaced by Doug Marland by the time the show premiered in another bit of info we've never really found out...)

I've always wondered who put Gordon Russell at OLTL when Agnes left in 1973--I knwo she trained him extensively and in her long youtube interview she's obviously very fond of him--did he move to the show earlier when Dark Shadows ended?

"I don't know anything about either, but I do agree that soaps need to start hiring people this way again. Stop with the recycling of writers from each soap. There's no originality anymore. Plus, fans don't even give a recycled writer a chance to write a new show. Immediately, they're blasted for what they may have done on another show, and how they're going to do the same thing to the show they're currently writing. I'm "

While this has gotten worse and worse--it's not all that new. P&Gamble, according to LaGuardia's 70s book made a practice of "rotating" their talent on their soaps every few years with the belief that writers and producers would get stale on one show and somehow not on a new show. I think this went on till the late 70s--didn't it?

And there are tons of old examples of soap writers flopping on one show and being given a new show--so it's not a completely new phenomena even if it seems to be done more and more. Uber hack (yes, I really dislike the man) James Lipton, who likes to not talk about his soap past now that hosting Actor's Studio seems to have boosted his ego even more, went from failure as a soap writer to failure. He almost drove AWorld into the ground until Agnes saved it and then he was offered his OWN soap as creator (Best of EVeyrthing) which flopped too, then another soap, another soap--all thru to Capital's last HW... The mind boggles

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Washam was married to Judith Barcroft who played Ann on AMC. She was one of the Lead Females and their son played on the show as well.

As to the P&G thing. In the beginning and for the most part they didn't make writing changes too often on most of their shows.

Irna Phillips swapped Bill Bell and Agnes Nixon out in 1957 - moving Bell from GL to ATWT and Nixon from WT to GL and they both remained in those positions until 1966 when Nixon moved exclusively to AW and Bell moved exclusively to Days.

The Edge of Night only had 5 headwriting teams from 1956 to 1984. And 2 of those involved Irving Vendig. he wrote alone from 1956 to 1960 and then added a co-HW for the next 5 years.

After 1966 both ATWT and GL did start going through quite a few changes, but for the most part not as often as today's shows do. But even with GL they had continuity backstage for a long time because Lucy Ferri guided the program as Executive Producer from the mid 1950's to 1976.

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Wanted to add that Wisner was playwright Neil Simon's long-time stage manager before Agnes discovered him. I don't know how he made the transition to writing for daytime, but it obviously worked. He obviously had a masterful teacher in Simon. Back then (not so much today), daytime drama was the closest thing to theater in terms of writing and acting styles, with lots of writers and actors going back and forth between both genres, so writing for daytime was probably a good fit for Wisner. Victor Miller has credited Wisner for being a great soap writer and the one person that tought him how to write daytime drama. Also wanted to add that his and Judith's son Ian was one of the first Charlie Brents (actually referred to as "Little Phillip" when he was a kid).

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