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I don't know what became of Alice's house.When Alice was written off in 79,was that the last we saw of that set?Often,to save money,shows would have other characters use the set,perhaps explaining that they were renting it while the owner was away.

When Alice came back,in the Vana Tribbey/Linda Borgeson years,where did she live? I remember when Jacquie Courtney returned,she was shown on the Matthews family home set.Did she, and the other Alice's live there?

How did Liz come to live there?I assume she moved in after Jim died. Was Liz shown living elsewhere before that time or was she never shown at home?

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Yes, and that's a shame. Though to be fair, before he passed away George Reinholt himself admitted that he was a handful at times. It's just somewhat surprising with all his success at AW that Lemay never found another long-running soap writing gig again.

For all his genius (and I believe AW under Lemay--particulary during his first few years-- was about as good as soaps get), I think Harding Lemay might have been a handful to work with. As low-brow camp took over many soaps in the 1980s, I think his brand of sophisticated, character-driven adult drama was simply not what the networks cared about.

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For all his genius (and I believe AW under Lemay--particulary during his first few years-- was about as good as soaps get), I think Harding Lemay might have been a handful to work with.

I am a huge fan of Harding Lemay and his approach to soap opera and basically took his book as the gospel. Then, I realized, that his was but one opinion and was colored by certain biases. We never really heard from all the other players in the saga to get their take on the same events. And I've read other interviews that Lemay gave during the period, and some things contradict some of what is written in his book.

I don't think that Lemay was the only one who was a handful to work with, I think they all were. A lot of egos in one spot, all under the belief that they alone were responsible for the success of the show.

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I thought that he had been hired and then the writer's strike hit. Supposedly, Swajeski was head writer during the strike. The strike ended and Lemay's material aired for about 2 months (including the reintroduction of Iris). He was then axed in favor of Swajeski.

Yes, but shortly after he was rehired, there was a writers' strike...after which, he was not asked to return.

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I thought that he had been hired and then the writer's strike hit. Supposedly, Swajeski was head writer during the strike. The strike ended and Lemay's material aired for about 2 months (including the reintroduction of Iris). He was then axed in favor of Swajeski.

Right. Lemay was rehired, and then the writers' strike hit. During the strike, Swajeski worked as a scab, and then later took over full-time. Did she continue to use Lemay's story outlines after the strike ended?

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I am a huge fan of Harding Lemay and his approach to soap opera and basically took his book as the gospel. Then, I realized, that his was but one opinion and was colored by certain biases. We never really heard from all the other players in the saga to get their take on the same events. And I've read other interviews that Lemay gave during the period, and some things contradict some of what is written in his book.

I don't think that Lemay was the only one who was a handful to work with, I think they all were. A lot of egos in one spot, all under the belief that they alone were responsible for the success of the show.

Actually, in 1975, Afternoon TV magazine (I think; I still have it around somewhere) published an issue with an extensive section covering the backstage drama at AW, with interviews featuring Reinholt, Lemay, Rauch, Wyndham, Watson, and others, all of whom gave their take on the situation of how and why Reinholt was fired. There were various contradictions in what everyone said; Lemay tried to downplay that by saying he and Rauch may have seen certain things differently. The interviews were quite interesting; Wyndham acknowledged that Lemay's writing was often not good, but felt it was because of the sheer output of material that he needed to produce. Actor John Considine said that he had never seen Reinholt do anything that merited his dismissal. Noticeably absent in the issue was any interview with Jacqueline Courtney, who kept quiet at the time.

Later, in 1977, author Robert LaGuardia published an updated version of his book The Wonderful World of TV Soap Operas, with reprints of some of the interviews which had been published in the magazine. In LaGuardia's book, however, along with the quotes by Reinolt, Lemay, and Rauch, an interview with Courtney was also included. She spoke about her own dismissal from the show. She said that she had not trusted Rauch from the moment he took over as AW's producer, and when he did, the atmosphere in the studio began to change, with his favoritism towards new, aggressive performers. She spoke of how he manipulated her into admitting that she didn't like a proposed storyline (Alice's romance with Willis), and then used her comments about it as an excuse to fire her. She went away on vacation for a month and was notified that she was being replaced.

The entire work environment sounded toxic, just like on OLTL, when Rauch wreaked havoc over there.

Edited by vetsoapfan
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vetsoapfan, would you please upload or transcribe that interview if you can find it? I would love to read it. It seems like everyone had different takes on what went down (and I would especially love to hear what Doug Watson had to say, because from the start he seemed to be the classy gentleman both on and offscreen that would continue until his own passing). Yes, Paul Rauch seemed like a nightmare to work for, especially if you were a woman. But he helped get ratings up, leading to long tenures at both AW (1971-83, I think - didn't he and Lemay begin at AW almost at the same time?) and OLTL (1984-91).

Also, does anyone happen to have the 2004 issue of SOW with the letter from Jacquie Courtney, who after years out of the limelight wrote in to refute comments PR had made about her and George Reinholt? I've never read that letter but have heard about it for years. If anyone has it, please post it!!

One more thing, Jacquie really did have a very low voice. At times, it sounded even lower than Suzanne Pleshette's!!

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vetsoapfan, would you please upload or transcribe that interview if you can find it? I would love to read it. It seems like everyone had different takes on what went down (and I would especially love to hear what Doug Watson had to say, because from the start he seemed to be the classy gentleman both on and offscreen that would continue until his own passing). Yes, Paul Rauch seemed like a nightmare to work for, especially if you were a woman. But he helped get ratings up, leading to long tenures at both AW (1971-83, I think - didn't he and Lemay begin at AW almost at the same time?) and OLTL (1984-91).

Also, does anyone happen to have the 2004 issue of SOW with the letter from Jacquie Courtney, who after years out of the limelight wrote in to refute comments PR had made about her and George Reinholt? I've never read that letter but have heard about it for years. If anyone has it, please post it!!

One more thing, Jacquie really did have a very low voice. At times, it sounded even lower than Suzanne Pleshette's!!

In the 1975 interview, Watson was very diplomatic and did not bash anyone, as I recall.

As for Rauch, I truly believe that most of his work damaged the soaps in the long-run, ratings-wise. When he came onto a new show, already established with a solid core, his attention to fine sets, lighting, directing, etc., could enhance the product, but he had no clue about how to preserve the heart of a soap, no idea about the importance of keeping its core intact.

AW's ratings in 1971-2 were 9.1, and they increased to 9.7 over the next few years, thanks in large part to Lemay's stellar writing FOR THE CORE CHARACTERS already in place. Later, as Lemay's writing started to falter after the series went to an hour, and Rauch started to tamper with the show's core, ratings plummeted, and by 1982-3, they were a dismal 4.8!

OLTL was a solid 8.2 in 1984. Rauch came on board, hacked away at the veteran cast and turned the once-erudite soap into painful, low-brow camp, and by 1991, OLTL's ratings were 5.4.

His TEXAS, LOVERS & FRIENDS, and FOR RICHER FOR POORER were all ratings failures as well.

He boasted about saving THE GUIDING LIGHT from the axe, but when he took over that series, it had a rating of 4.0, which only fell to 3.0 by the 2001-02 season, when he was finally replaced by John Conboy.

That's why so many longtime fans think of him as Paul Raunch, soap killer, killer!

As for Courtney, yes, she did have a deep voice when got lower as the decades went by. Years of smoking, I suppose.

Edited by vetsoapfan
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