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Soap WRITERS that should have broken out of Soapdom and what could have they done once they broke out?


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First of all we all know that there are some actors that broke out of the industry and made it big, however, I dont think there were any writers that made a dent in other mediums like movies and prime time. Of course there have been that went to soaps later in there career but none that went from soaps to other mediums. Also, since Daytime soaps are not really a "Genre" but a "medium", since they contain elements of several Genres also because they are formatted differently than other scripted shows, Good soap writers like Douglas Marland, Clair labine, and Lorraine Broderick, could really write for any primetime tv show or movie.

I would like to see what kind of show Claire Labine would create if HBO or Showtime approached her. Maybe she could create a Ryan's Hope type show set during WWII?

What are your thoughts?? Also, writers who passed away can be discussed as well.

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The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Chuck Pratt who wrote for Melrose Place, Ugly Betty, Life Goes On, and now the Lying Game.

I think the writers you mentioned like Labine and Marland were writers who truly loved the daytime genre and had no interest in moving away from it where people like Pratt seemed to hold it in contempt to an extent and kept trying to write like they were primetime shows.

I am guessing that there are probably some script writers who moved onto writing outside of daytime

Off topic, Henry Slesar was a well known mystery writer before, during, and after his reign at Edge of Night.

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Considering how Cynthia Cidre's Dallas has all the soap elements of Car 54 Where Are You? I can't imagine how much worse she'd be in daytime.

I don't know which soap writers would have been better off in primetime. They're very different genres, and those in daytime not realizing that is what has killed the genre in the last few decades.

Maybe Harding Lemay.

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Ann Marcus alternated between daytime and prime time for most of her career, I believe.

I actually think Guza and Sheffer looked at daytime as a stepping stone to prime time and wrote their shows accordingly. Too bad for the soap medium that no nighttime producer snapped them up.

Henry Slesar wrote for a lot of procedural dramas prior to Edge of Night. Had he been younger, I think could have gone right back to them.

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Ann Marcus alternated between daytime and prime time for most of her career, I believe.

I actually think Guza and Sheffer looked at daytime as a stepping stone to prime time and wrote their shows accordingly. Too bad for the soap medium that no nighttime producer snapped them up.

Henry Slesar wrote for a lot of procedural dramas prior to Edge of Night. Had he been younger, I think could have gone right back to them.

This will probably be unpopular, but I think Guza could be decent in primetime. It seems like it would be a better fit for him due to the quicker nature and shorter shelf life of the genre. The man knows how to pack a punch in a storyline (usually during sweeps) and he was initially very good at GH. His problems began over the years when he ran out of ideas, relied on only a few characters, killed off legacy characters very short sightedly, and began to reuse his best stories (the endless homages to Clink Boom, the montages of people getting shot set to dramatic music, etc) These problems probably wouldn't occur in primetime since most shows last around five years if they are lucky. I don't think Guza is a horrible writer, I just think he needs an EP that reigns him in. He rested on his laurels on GH and became far too lazy for the last 7 years of his run and JFP/Frons gave him far too much power and control. Solely based on his writng, though, I could see him being successful in primetime on a nightime soap or a teen show on the CW.

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Solely based on his writng, though, I could see him being successful in primetime on a nightime soap or a teen show on the CW.

He still could. It isn't as if the man is on life support. tongue.png

Harding Lemay could have given us a classic PBS miniseries, like a modern American I, Claudius.

Or a multi-generational series like "The Waltons," only darker and more complex.

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The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Chuck Pratt who wrote for Melrose Place, Ugly Betty, Life Goes On, and now the Lying Game.

I think the writers you mentioned like Labine and Marland were writers who truly loved the daytime genre and had no interest in moving away from it where people like Pratt seemed to hold it in contempt to an extent and kept trying to write like they were primetime shows.

I am guessing that there are probably some script writers who moved onto writing outside of daytime

Off topic, Henry Slesar was a well known mystery writer before, during, and after his reign at Edge of Night.

I'm not one to give Pratt props, and have not watched Lyign Game, but I think his real strength, if he had one, was in primetime campy soaps. His first year on Melrose Place as showrunner is my fave, and Models Inc, Titans, etc, created by him were guilty pleasures. It was too bad that he didn't seem to get daytime soaps should be written that way (truly, it seems to glaringly obvious that he would be the worse person to hire for AMC).

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Has anyone seen Agnes Nixon's miniseries, The Mannions of America, from 1981 with Pierce Brosnan and Kate Mulgrew about Irish immigrants to the USA? There are a few interviews at the time where she talks proudly of it, as she felt it was the story of her ancestors, and I believe it was even on VHS for a bit--but it seemed to get a lukewarm reaction. I think it's even mentioned as a project she wanted to do way back in 1976 in the book AllHer Children. Agnes Nixon was also priased for writing some 1950s primetime one off TV movies (back when they ahd so many live ones), but I've never been able to find which and where.

From Wiki:

Manions of America is a 6 hour mini-series for American television made in 1981. The subject of the series were Irish immigrants to the United States during the Great Famine of the mid-19th century. It was the first American role for actor Pierce Brosnan, co-starring Kate Mulgrew, David Soul and Linda Purl, and was directed by Joseph Sargent. Manions was written/created by Agnes Nixon creator of the now defunct "All My Children" a hit daytime soap for 40 years. Manions also starred Steve Forrest American actor and brother of Dana Andrews popular movie star in the 1940s, as Kate Mulgrew's character Rachel Manion's Uncle and owner of the powder mill in Philadelphia parts 2&3 of the three part mini series who begrudgingly hires Rachel's lover and future husband played by Pierce Brosnon.

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I'm not one to give Pratt props, and have not watched Lyign Game, but I think his real strength, if he had one, was in primetime campy soaps. His first year on Melrose Place as showrunner is my fave, and Models Inc, Titans, etc, created by him were guilty pleasures. It was too bad that he didn't seem to get daytime soaps should be written that way (truly, it seems to glaringly obvious that he would be the worse person to hire for AMC).

The Lying Game sucks. It's boring and the actors are lackluster as hell. That'll probably end up canceled if the rating don't pick up next season. I remember the ratings being not so great for the majority of the first season. I gave up part of the way through.

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Agnes had a primetime series announced Beggars and Choosers to begin May 77 and run through summer.

From Variety March 30th

BEGGARS AND CHOOSERS-Eleven-part series for ABC set against background of the cosmetic industry. Production to begin in May. Created by Agnes Nixon.

The June 16th issue said they had postponed because of a decision to go with film instead of tape and that it was planned for Spring of 78.

Of course that never eventuated.

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