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As The World Turns Discussion Thread


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17 minutes ago, Mitch said:

To be fair, Marland began to let that diminish during his time..which is when I stopped watching as often, and moved on to GL, which,  while not as prominent as with the Hughes, were recentering the Bauers with Ed and Mo as the center of town and the house "Everyone comes to when they want to celebrate or when something bad happens, people just start coming here," as Michele said once. As soon as that ended my viewing became sporadic there to.  I don't know why soaps can't figure out that the fantasy of the core HOME and family that is open to everyone is one viewers have no matter what their age.

In one word: Advertisers. 

In my reading about television in the early years, I have come to see that the advertisers rules these shows, including content. No matter how powerful you think the HW is, the advertisers had more power. Procter and Gamble, from the very beginning of these shows' runs, P&G had the ultimate power. As frustrated as Irna Phillips was, she realized this. She couldn't even get them to stop playing organ cues when the Guiding Light went to television, even though she hated it because she knew it would become a trope. P&G obviously wanted a change in tone, perhaps what they viewed a cooler, slicker tone, which also happened to coincided with "efficiencies" in the budget. And P&G, whose main goal was always to sell products, was notorious for making these types of "efficiencies". It's like, even if it's not broke, they're still going to try to "fix it". And they kept "fixing it" until cancellation.

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I read somewhere that Goutman actually fought to keep Fulton and some of the other vets on the show, even though what we saw onscreen contradicted that. I think it was just a casual comment in an article somewhere.Maybe someone else remembers?

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29 minutes ago, Paul Raven said:

I read somewhere that Goutman actually fought to keep Fulton and some of the other vets on the show, even though what we saw onscreen contradicted that. I think it was just a casual comment in an article somewhere.Maybe someone else remembers?

Would love to get some verification on this because, from what I remember reading in interviews, Fulton didn't have much regard for Goutman. I thought she felt disrespected by him.

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4 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Would love to get some verification on this because, from what I remember reading in interviews, Fulton didn't have much regard for Goutman. I thought she felt disrespected by him.

She clearly loathed Hogan Sheffer too. And she criticized Jean Passanante in a group interview as well.

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On 8/10/2021 at 7:54 PM, DramatistDreamer said:

Was Lisa still known as Grimaldi at the end of the series? For some reason that always struck me as strange. Eduardo had been deceased for how many years by then? I don't think Lisa ever stuck with a last name for that long. In a bizarre way, it was as if her identity no longer matter towards the end of the show's run anyway. They weren't writing for her, she was shunted off to the side, almost as if she were a non-person.  

So tragic what they did to her character.   She should have been the focal point of the show to the end.  AMC was usually associated with Susan Lucci and Erica is a similar prototype of Lisa. Who was the character most associated with ATWT in the end?   Probably Carly who was okay but not part of the show’s legacy.

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I do not have any personal knowledge of the internal dynamics at ATWT but worth pointing out that it can be both be true that an EP fought to keep some of the veterans on the show while not giving them front-burner storylines.
His argument could have been that keeping them around helps the tapistry of the show and avoids a PR disaster while not thinking they are interesting or young or whatever enough to be carrying storylines anymore, which in turn might have been offensive to said actors who were kept as potted plants.
The alternative could very well have been for them to have been written out altogether which would have saved money.

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7 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:

I do not have any personal knowledge of the internal dynamics at ATWT but worth pointing out that it can be both be true that an EP fought to keep some of the veterans on the show while not giving them front-burner storylines.
His argument could have been that keeping them around helps the tapistry of the show and avoids a PR disaster while not thinking they are interesting or young or whatever enough to be carrying storylines anymore, which in turn might have been offensive to said actors who were kept as potted plants.
The alternative could very well have been for them to have been written out altogether which would have saved money.

Goutman was a very divisive figure, there is no room for debate about that. It's no secret that he had conflict with a few veteran actors. Long-time actors Martha Byrne and Scott Bryce had very negative experiences with him. Both Byrne and Bryce have spoken about their experiences on the show when he was EP. Byrne was a bit more circumspect, not wanting to divulge too many specific details, Bryce was more blunt. From my understanding, having listened to their actual words, they were marginalized, as was Fulton. Fulton also spoke of how hurtful her treatment was. As EP, the head of what goes on, day to day in production, if he wasn't at the root of this, honestly, I don't know who would be.

I also know of his reputation along other spheres, that are not ATWT-related. It's not good.

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1 hour ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Goutman was a very divisive figure, there is no room for debate about that. It's no secret that he had conflict with a few veteran actors. Long-time actors Martha Byrne and Scott Bryce had very negative experiences with him. Both Byrne and Bryce have spoken about their experiences on the show when he was EP. Byrne was a bit more circumspect, not wanting to divulge too many specific details, Bryce was more blunt. From my understanding, having listened to their actual words, they were marginalized, as was Fulton. Fulton also spoke of how hurtful her treatment was. As EP, the head of what goes on, day to day in production, if he wasn't at the root of this, honestly, I don't know who would be.

I also know of his reputation along other spheres, that are not ATWT-related. It's not good.

I think Byrne's problem was just at the very end and the contract negotiations ..Bryce was a more layered actor who was used to Marland's work and by the time he got there the network and MADD were all about...cartoon BAD and no depth. I think Byrne got along with him quite well until that time.

I think Goutman did work to keep the vets there..he just didn't know how to use them well. Kim and Bob and Lucinda were used quite well, and to tell you the truth, I would not have given them major story either...but I would not have cut off their family tree like they did, so I would have given their kids the most story and I would have them interact as support with their own robust lives.  I think Fulton, sad to say, would not have been happy unless she was LISA...the STAR of ATWT..she was the prototype of Zimmer, bitching if she had a day off back in her hey day. Again, I would have Lisa be a go to for the troubled grey characters of Oakdale, where she would energetically butt into their lives.  Again, I think Goutman saw them as adding color and texture to the show, but didn't know how to incorporate them as such.  I take a look at Rauch, who actually fought to keep MG, JVD and LK on contract (as soon as he left most were bumped to recurring) but really didn't give them good story when they were there.

 

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55 minutes ago, Mitch said:

I think Byrne's problem was just at the very end and the contract negotiations ..Bryce was a more layered actor who was used to Marland's work and by the time he got there the network and MADD were all about...cartoon BAD and no depth. I think Byrne got along with him quite well until that time.

I think Goutman did work to keep the vets there..he just didn't know how to use them well. Kim and Bob and Lucinda were used quite well, and to tell you the truth, I would not have given them major story either...but I would not have cut off their family tree like they did, so I would have given their kids the most story and I would have them interact as support with their own robust lives.  I think Fulton, sad to say, would not have been happy unless she was LISA...the STAR of ATWT..she was the prototype of Zimmer, bitching if she had a day off back in her hey day. Again, I would have Lisa be a go to for the troubled grey characters of Oakdale, where she would energetically butt into their lives.  Again, I think Goutman saw them as adding color and texture to the show, but didn't know how to incorporate them as such.  I take a look at Rauch, who actually fought to keep MG, JVD and LK on contract (as soon as he left most were bumped to recurring) but really didn't give them good story when they were there

and then there’s the barbara bloom factor, who arrived at cbs daytime in 2003 and escalated the ‘abcification’ that madd had begun. i’ve heard from a couple of insiders her arrival coincided with goutman’s decline. and, not for nothing, it’s worth noting that both scott and martha were replaced my abc daytime actors.

as for eileen, i agree. she always saw herself as the ‘world turn’s star, even after her star had faded. her marriages all ended in divorce, she had no children. it seems as though her life is made up of ‘world turns and her cabaret act, along with her dogs, which is kind of sad.

 

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16 minutes ago, wonderwoman1951 said:

as for eileen, i agree. she always saw herself as the ‘world turn’s star, even after her star had faded. her marriages all ended in divorce, she had no children. it seems as though her life is made up of ‘world turns and her cabaret act, along with her dogs, which is kind of sad.

 

That is sort what I am getting at.

I understand we have an emotional connection to these actors in a way we do not with producers so it is easy to automatically want to side with the former but we have to allow for the possibility all these stories of "being mistreated" and "hurt feelings" at least partially come from a place of long-time veterans Norma Desmond-ing themselves into being more difficult than we imagine.
And in truth even with the most veteran-worshipping producer, it is hard to have those characters be as front-and-center as they once were.
It is not that they can't write stories for the older generation - they can and they should have done it way more rather than treat them as background props. BUT they are now competing for airtime with two or three generations of characters and they are not the stars anymore. It is the natural flow of things. And if they cling to their former glory, we know how some older people can become ornery and some of the tension might also come from that.

I know not what kind of person Goutman is but I do know it often feels too easy to lay everything we disagree with on a show at the feet of the producer - it is their job to take the incoming and I am sure they are well compensated for it - and caricaturing them as unfeeling money-obsessed dont-care-about-the-show without ever allowing for all the factors an EP has to juggle. 

An example is LB. Sure, there is evidence she was treated unkindly (not inviting her back for the finale is high-level BS) BUT I'd argue there is evidence some of her requests might have been unreasonable. At the point of her failed contract renewal, the show was struggling and I can't imagine they were doing well financially (it didn't look it on-screen). One can easily imagine her sticking to her guns for what money she wanted and a torn producer deciding that the extra cuts they would have to make to continue being able to afford her weren't worth it. Not because they didn't want to keep her: but because what she demanded forced their hand to decide whether they wanted a specific actress so bad that they should get rid of two or three sets or two or three other supporting characters. It is a tough call but not necessarily an evil one.

Same with an actor complaining about story. When SB told them he hated they were writing Craig as a cartoon, he was right. But do we want actors' opinions to dictate stories? For every time we agree, how many times has an actor come to producers with a stupid idea? I hear the idea that actors know their characters the best and yet they are actors, not writers and they don't always see the big picture. I can see a writer hearing an actor bitch and moan and go "Thanks for your input but no thanks" without being a monster. There is a pretty fair point to make that ignoring actors is the healthiest way for writers to handle that. 

Again: I am speaking more generally than Goutman whose reputation I believe. When there is smoke from enough actors there is fire. But I tend not to read everything that was done in those last twenty years with the same What Monsters reaction as other fans.
Long list of mistakes and things I would have done differently. But I allow for the fact I do not know everything and a lot of things were done probably had a rationale that wasn't just "Let me screw over this miserable show". People can screw up while trying to do the right thing

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3 hours ago, Mitch said:

I think Byrne's problem was just at the very end and the contract negotiations ..Bryce was a more layered actor who was used to Marland's work and by the time he got there the network and MADD were all about...cartoon BAD and no depth. I think Byrne got along with him quite well until that time.

It was more than just money for Martha. It started out as contract negotiations but spiraled and disintegrated. She alluded to a type of psychological warfare that was being practiced, she said it was very damaging and hurtful. Hurtful was also the word that Eileen used to describe the way she was treated. Yes, actors can be sensitive, but from working with them, that's why they are effective at what they do. Their feelings are close enough to the surface that they can be easily accessed. Anyone working with actors ought to know this, or their in the wrong profession 

Bryce has worked with a number of professional s and personalities in his numerous film and television work, he likely has far more professional experience than Goutman has. Years ago, in an interview, Bryce basically talked about how unprofessional Goutman and co. were. I believe him.

I have a connection to the very same department in which Goutman work(ed) on and off in academia and he's not so stellar there either.

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6 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Goutman was a very divisive figure, there is no room for debate about that. It's no secret that he had conflict with a few veteran actors. Long-time actors Martha Byrne and Scott Bryce had very negative experiences with him. Both Byrne and Bryce have spoken about their experiences on the show when he was EP. Byrne was a bit more circumspect, not wanting to divulge too many specific details,

I know I'm not the only one who got a very specific vibe from the way Martha Byrne tiptoed around talking about Goutman last year on the various ATWT reunions.

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1 hour ago, Vee said:

I know I'm not the only one who got a very specific vibe from the way Martha Byrne tiptoed around talking about Goutman last year on the various ATWT reunions.

Oh, I definitely got the sense that she was personally revolted by what happened, the visceral nature of it leaped off the page when I read it and when I listened to her podcast interview ,(with a different soap blog), I got that exact same sense of revulsion. She didn't want to go into much detail and I respect her desire not to revisit that particular time in much detail. I also got the sense that it was somewhat traumatic and she wanted to push past it. 

Another aspect that comes to mind about that particular sequence of years and events is that, when a soap opera is on its "last legs" as ATWT obviously was at that time, TPTB usually put the production in the hands of less than fully capable people.

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10 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

Another aspect that comes to mind about that particular sequence of years and events is that, when a soap opera is on its "last legs" as ATWT obviously was at that time, TPTB usually put the production in the hands of less than fully capable people.

Isn't there a bit of a chicken and egg issue there though? Is it that soaps on their last legs end up in the hands of less than capable people for some reason or that soaps on their last legs do not have the resources, money and support for a producer to be able do the job in a way that would make them look capable?
It is hard to be a great producer when even keeping the lights on is a struggle. 
 

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2 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:

Isn't there a bit of a chicken and egg issue there though? Is it that soaps on their last legs end up in the hands of less than capable people for some reason or that soaps on their last legs do not have the resources, money and support for a producer to be able do the job in a way that would make them look capable?
It is hard to be a great producer when even keeping the lights on is a struggle. 
 

It looks to be by design but that's my opinion, I guess. The way Goutman treated a number of the show's talent, on the other hand, was very much within his control and he chose to treat a number of the talent in a very sh*tty manner. The interviews are out there with a Google search.

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