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Soap Rumors: Past and Present


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I thought there could be a thread where people bring supposed rumors they have heard of the years, and get an answer to any questions they may have. I have a few.

1. Back when AW was cancelled, was ABC really trying to get their hands on it? I have never found any such articles confirming or denying it.

2. During the same year, I heard that there were some intense negotiations between Sony and NBC, and that DAYS was looking likely to be the soap to be cancelled. Of course that never happened, but I have heard rumors that ABC was looking to get DAYS. They were going to cancel PC, cut OLTL to half an hour move it to the 12:30 slot. Then, they were going to give DAYS, OLTL's old timeslot.

3. On the Daytime Confidential Podcast about ATWT's cancellation, they said that Hogan Sheffer supposedly bought the show another decade when he brought the ratings up. They said that ATWT was on the verge of cancellation back then, it was even going to go before GL. Has anyone ever heard such reports?

4. On Wikipedia, I read that NBC tried to steal Susan Lucci away from AMC, and offered a role on the soap of her choice. Since we all know that Wikipedia can be unreliable is there truth to this?

5. Also on DAYS, I heard NBC was threating to pull the plug if Corday didn't appoint JER headwriter. Did this happen, was NBC really going to leave Passions its last soap standing? The show would have collapsed after DAYS left, and would have been off the air within a year. Is this true?

There are probably others, but these are the ones that I can think of now.

Feel free to bring your questions, answers, and thoughts to this thread. Thanks in adavance!

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1. Back when AW was cancelled, was ABC really trying to get their hands on it?

Dunno. ABC tried to buy the rights to the "Felicia Gallant" character, though. However, when someone informed them that they'd have to buy rights to all of ANOTHER WORLD's characters, "Felicia Gallant" suddenly became "Gretel Rae Cummings".

2. During the same year, I heard that there were some intense negotiations between Sony and NBC, and that DAYS was looking likely to be the soap to be cancelled. Of course that never happened, but I have heard rumors that ABC was looking to get DAYS. They were going to cancel PC, cut OLTL to half an hour move it to the 12:30 slot. Then, they were going to give DAYS, OLTL's old timeslot.

Not true. ABC might salivate (then, and now) at the chance to have DAYS on their sked, but I doubt they would cut OLTL back to a half-hour for it. Cancel it altogether? Now, that's a different story.

3. On the Daytime Confidential Podcast about ATWT's cancellation, they said that Hogan Sheffer supposedly bought the show another decade when he brought the ratings up. They said that ATWT was on the verge of cancellation back then, it was even going to go before GL. Has anyone ever heard such reports?

It's possible. ATWT was in a terrible state before Sheffer's arrival. The only reason why it didn't disappear back then? Because, as bad off as WT was, GL was even worse. (Whoever said GL's cancellation sealed WT's fate as well was right.)

4. On Wikipedia, I read that NBC tried to steal Susan Lucci away from AMC, and offered a role on the soap of her choice. Since we all know that Wikipedia can be unreliable is there truth to this?

Depends on when this could have occurred. Maybe not these days, but back in the '80's, when Lucci was soaps' biggest draw (after Luke & Laura)? Yeah. I could see NBC attempting to lure her with a gig on one of their shows (ANOTHER WORLD? THE DOCTORS?). Of course, if you're practically known more as "Erica Kane" than as even "Susan Lucci," why mess with that meal ticket? If Lucci had jumped ship, so to speak, chances are, it would've been an absolute bust, and in 2-3 years, she would've returned to ABC on her knees, begging to come back to AMC.

5. Also on DAYS, I heard NBC was threating to pull the plug if Corday didn't appoint JER headwriter.

True. But, can you blame 'em? The first time JER was HW, DAYS soared as high as no. 2 and became, for awhile, a phenomenon amongst the 12-17 crowd. NBC believed lightning could strike twice - and, as usual, they were wrong.

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Did the ratings go up that much when Sheffer took over ATWT?

I thought the show was boring when he took over, but not unwatchable. There were some decent stories in place, like Rose-as-Lily, and Katie's schemes. Unwatchable was more like his tenure after about a year or a year and a half.

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Did the ratings go up that much when Sheffer took over ATWT?

I thought the show was boring when he took over, but not unwatchable. There were some decent stories in place, like Rose-as-Lily, and Katie's schemes. Unwatchable was more like his tenure after about a year or a year and a half.

I'm not sure what ATWT's ratings were like before his arrival, but during his tenure I saw that he got ATWT as high as fourth place and even third on some occasions.

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I'm not sure what ATWT's ratings were like before his arrival, but during his tenure I saw that he got ATWT as high as fourth place and even third on some occasions.

According to Toups's ratings archive, during the 2000-2001 season, ATWT averaged a 3.3 rating and was 6th place overall. During the 2001-2002 season, which would be a season where Sheffer was in charge for the entire season, ATWT averaged a 3.5 rating and was 5th overall.

While that was a .2 increase from season to season, it was nothing noteworthy or on par with what JER did with DAYS in the 90's or what Monty did with GH in the 80's.

By the 2002-2003 season, ATWT averaged a 2.9 season and was 7th overall.

ATWT was also getting as high as 4th place in some weeks back in 1998 and 1999, when AMC and OLTL started falling heavily.

ATWT, like GL, would have limped to its death by the end of the decade regardless if Sheffer wrote for the show or not.

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Yes, I remember that some were surprised when Behr/Broderick were fired, because the ratings were OK. I think the demos were the reason.

Sheffer always gets the credit for anything that goes right on his shows, but the blame usually goes somewhere else. At least that has stopped, somewhat, with Y&R.

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According to Toups's ratings archive, during the 2000-2001 season, ATWT averaged a 3.3 rating and was 6th place overall. During the 2001-2002 season, which would be a season where Sheffer was in charge for the entire season, ATWT averaged a 3.5 rating and was 5th overall.

While that was a .2 increase from season to season, it was nothing noteworthy or on par with what JER did with DAYS in the 90's or what Monty did with GH in the 80's.

By the 2002-2003 season, ATWT averaged a 2.9 season and was 7th overall.

ATWT was also getting as high as 4th place in some weeks back in 1998 and 1999, when AMC and OLTL started falling heavily.

ATWT, like GL, would have limped to its death by the end of the decade regardless if Sheffer wrote for the show or not.

Thanks, I'm guessing the people at Daytime Confidential overexaggerated on what he did for ATWT ratings wise.

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Yep, as I mentioned, ATWT, like GL, would have died regardless if Sheffer wrote for it or not by the end of the decade.

Sheffer's run might have brought some Emmy love to the show, but who takes the Daytime Emmy's seriously anymore? If that meant anything, are we to say GH too was on a creative high with its wins over the past few years?

I too am glad people are finally seeing Sheffer for the recycled hack he is and how he brings the same damaging bag of tricks to every show he writes for.

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Dunno. ABC tried to buy the rights to the "Felicia Gallant" character, though. However, when someone informed them that they'd have to buy rights to all of ANOTHER WORLD's characters, "Felicia Gallant" suddenly became "Gretel Rae Cummings".

Actually Dano was Gretel Cummings before she was Felicia Grant. She was on OLTL the first time from 1978-80 (two years prior to joining AW).

As for the rest of it, that is correct....when they couldn't get the rights, they made her Gretel Cummings again, and made her middle name "Rae".

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Did the ratings go up that much when Sheffer took over ATWT?

I thought the show was boring when he took over, but not unwatchable. There were some decent stories in place, like Rose-as-Lily, and Katie's schemes. Unwatchable was more like his tenure after about a year or a year and a half.

Carl, the ratings went way up under Sheffer. That is why, like him or not, I always give him credit for saving the show. Even under Marland, the show didn't even rank as high. Yeah, the number of viewers were larger (more peole were watching soaps in the 1980's.)

I've read that World Turns was as good as dead after Brodrick. The logic was that GL didn't have a lead in like B&B and, thus, had more growth potential.

Sheffer got new viewers to tune in. He aslso stabilized a show going off the cliff. Was the show boring, yes; however, he did give the show some sort of focus. Remember, ATWT was a program in transition. A good number of star vets were into thier 60's and CBS wanted a younger show.

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Carl, the ratings went way up under Sheffer. That is why, like him or not, I always give him credit for saving the show. Even under Marland, the show didn't even rank as high. Yeah, the number of viewers were larger (more peole were watching soaps in the 1980's.)

Define "way up," because looking at the season to season ratings, his first full year/season, the show only increased by .2, and by the next season it was 7th overall and lost a staggering .6 of the household ratings it had in the previous season.

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Carl, the ratings went way up under Sheffer. That is why, like him or not, I always give him credit for saving the show. Even under Marland, the show didn't even rank as high. Yeah, the number of viewers were larger (more peole were watching soaps in the 1980's.)

I've read that World Turns was as good as dead after Brodrick. The logic was that GL didn't have a lead in like B&B and, thus, had more growth potential.

Sheffer got new viewers to tune in. He aslso stabilized a show going off the cliff. Was the show boring, yes; however, he did give the show some sort of focus. Remember, ATWT was a program in transition. A good number of star vets were into thier 60's and CBS wanted a younger show.

I thought the show under his watch was often depressing, forced, unpleasant, and difficult to follow, and he set a template which was made even worse after his departure. The only thing I knew for sure when he was writing was that cold and self-righteous "men with balls" would dominate airtime (Paul, Craig, Dusty), and women would be written as pathetic psychos and/or baby-obsessed. For someone who was supposed to bring in younger characters, he was also shockingly bad at writing for them. Allison/Lucy/Aaron were a joke -- Allison and Lucy both ended up clinging to men who were about 15-20 years their senior; Jennifer under his pen was a mess, because he wanted to write some story about a good girl who goes bad because she has sex; Abigail and Adam were good but never got any material. The girl in the crate and her boxing brother, no thanks.

I thought he took over a somewhat boring show, did a lot of stunts which got him attention, then he let the show rot. It was certainly good for him, and good for the show in the short term, but otherwise, it feels like ATWT has been dying for most of the decade anyway.

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2. During the same year, I heard that there were some intense negotiations between Sony and NBC, and that DAYS was looking likely to be the soap to be cancelled. Of course that never happened, but I have heard rumors that ABC was looking to get DAYS. They were going to cancel PC, cut OLTL to half an hour move it to the 12:30 slot. Then, they were going to give DAYS, OLTL's old timeslot.

I remember this rumor, it had OLTL fans, and actually fans of ALL the ABC soaps up in arms. Alot felt if OLTL got cancelled in favor of Days, it wouldn't do Days any favors

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