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B&B: A 'Bold' Byrne tries her hand at writing

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A 'Bold' Byrne tries her hand at writing

By Carolyn Hinsey


Friday, April 10th 2009, 4:00 AM

After 23 years as heroine Lily Snyder on "As the World Turns," Martha Byrne exited last year as the result of a contract dispute.

Next week, she bounces back - as a writer on "The Bold and the Beautiful."

"I sent [head writer] Brad Bell some writing samples to get his feedback, and I got an e-mail saying he loved the material and wanted me to write a spec script for 'B&B,'" says Byrne. "Based on that spec, I got a trial deal with the show."

Her first episode airs Tuesday.

"I'll be watching with a copy of the script, a notepad and a pen," she says. "I'm interested to see what changes the actors make to the dialogue. My goal is to give them dialogue that's as close to their character as possible. By watching what they change, I'll get better at writing their voice."

All her years as an actress will help her do that.

"I've been in rehearsal hall when things don't quite click, so I constantly put myself in their shoes and try to give them material they can play with."

Byrne confesses she misses doing that herself.

"I'm just now starting to miss acting, and I'm not sure why it took so long," she says.

Byrne will wade back into performing with a show called "As the Epic Turns" with former "ATWT" co-stars Paolo Seganti (Damian) and Tamara Tunie (ex-Jessica, now on "Law & Order: SVU") on April 17-18 at the Peter J. Sharp Theatre, 416 W. 42nd St.

"It's a 90-minute program of staged readings to benefit the Arts-inEducation programs hard hit by the current economic crisis," says Byrne. (Go to ticketcentral.


In spite of her move to the other side of the camera, Byrne admits these are tough times for soap operas.

"I am truly saddened by 'Guiding Light's' cancellation," she says. "I know the kind of hard work and sacrifice that goes into making a show like 'GL.'"

As for the rumors that her own former show, "ATWT," may have only one year to get its own ratings up - or face cancellation - Byrne says, "A lot can happen in a year. I can attest to that!"

Comings and goings: Eden Riegel will bring Bianca back to "All My Children" so Bianca can reunite with Reese (Tamara Braun) and take her back to Paris. ... Rick Hearst (Ric) and Megan Ward (Kate) are off contract at "General Hospital." ... Nia Peebles (Karen) is leaving "The Young and the Restless."

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We're all entitled to feel the way we do. And it's not that one episode that is in question. There are several episodes that have WTF dialogue choices for the characters that she wrote.

But, if you want me to say something nice about your homegirl, I will say the Jackie M/Forrester reveal was brilliantly executed. But again, I think that had more to do with the directing and pacing. There was nothing spectacular about that episode, in terms of dialogue.

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Back on topic...

I am delighted that there's a new name on the writing staff at B&B.

And MarkH, you should definitely let me know what you think of my assessment of the Jackie M/Forrester stuff, when Katie saw the dresses on the runway. It was her best episode to date, but, as I said before, I do think that had to do with the pacing and the direction.

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I'm happy for Martha, but her writing a few scripts here and there won't help this show. It needs a complete overhaul, in almost every way possible. The fact remains, B&B has already made some very respectable scriptwriters look down right amateur. I'll wait until her first episode airs to judge, but my hopes aren't high. The dialogue on this show is dire.

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