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Proposed Soaps Over The Years


Paul Raven

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July 72

ABC has an idea for juicing up daytime TV Special by Screen Gems, Cramer to test new formats to reach females and add diversity to time dominated by soap operas and game shows.

 

A new concept that could bring more diversity to daytime viewing gets a trial on ABC -TV this month. It stems from Honeymoon Suite, a 90 minute special being produced by Screen Gems and the Douglas S. Cramer Co., Hollywood, targeted for daytime TV and the female audience. The taped special, to be presented under the umbrella title, "The ABC Afternoon Playbreak," is a development on two fronts: as a pilot for concept: as an on -air pilot for a regular daytime series. If the concept of doing a special program in the afternoon time periods on a pre -emptive basis is successful, ABC - TV may elect to do a regular 90- minute monthly or even weekly special appealing to women viewers. If Honeymoon Suite is successful as a comedy idea -the show contains a series of vignettes about various couples who, at various times, occupy the honeymoon suite of an elegant hotel -it could go as a first -run daily half - hour comedy series.

 

Michael D. Eisner, vice president, daytime programming for ABC -TV, explained: "We anticipated about a year and a half ago that we'd be at parity at some point with the other networks. It happened sooner than we thought. And when it does happen you don't just stand there and watch. When you do that you start falling back again. This is a way of trying new forms, putting some interest into daytime, trying to create some excitement, something to promote and advertise." Honeymoon Suite, which stars Henry Gibson and Rose Marie (presumably they would be cast regulars if the show is turned into a series) and features such guest performers as Gloria DeHaven, Arthur O'Connell, Martha Scott and June Lockhart, is scheduled for pres- entation on July 26. The network, anticipating that viewers of serials would be antagonistic towards a pre -emptive show, has elected instead to program the special from 1:30 to 3 p.m. EDT, replacing three game shows: Let's Make a Deal, Newlywed Game and Dating Game

 

"We're going to be selling this show tremendously with a lot of promotion and advertising" promises Mr. Eisner. The network also is committed to back a second 90- minute taped "ABC Afternoon Playbreak," probably to be presented in late August. Entitled Courtroom One: Mother vs. Mother, it concerns a father and son who practice law in a small California town where the courtroom is ruled by a woman judge. Produced as well by Douglas S. Cramer Co. in association with Screen Gems, this special also could be spun off into a daily half - hour dramatic series. Impetus for the programs, according to Mr. Eisner, is ABC -TV's success in producing the 90- minute filmed nighttime Movie of the Week series. But the "Afternoon Playbreak" shows are being produced on budgets of less than $150,000, or about a fourth of the money allocated to Movie of the Week. A number of other projects are being developed as possible daytime specials, with a third Doug Cramer show, The Haunted, among them. Neither Honeymoon Suite nor Court- room: One is being developed as an an- thology. Instead a serial concept is built into the shows. According to Mr. Cramer, Honeymoon Suite stories would run anywhere from one to four days, while Courtroom: One stories would sustain from three days to three weeks. "Honeymoon Suite would become the biggest user of writing and performing talent since NBC's Matinee Theater, points out Mr. Cramer. "We'd use 150 different stories a year, the equivalent of eight nighttime half- hours." Mr. Eisner, though, soft -pedals the notion that any of the daytime specials is immediately translated into a regular series. "I doubt if we will go to five days a week for a while," he says, "but we might go to a special once a week." He emphasized, though, that the network is not committed to actually producing beyond the first two special programs. Still, he indicates that a lot is riding un the outcome of these initial shows. "We're hopeful that we are able to break the mold of game shows, service shows and serials in the daytime," he says. "We're hoping that drama can come back to daytime television."

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In a January 1966  Variety ad Irna Phillips and William J Bell under the banner of Dramatic Serials Inc highlighted current and future projects.

Current

As The World Turns (writers) 5 years as daytime's No. 1 program

Another World (creators)

Guiding Light (Miss Phillips creator)

Days of Our Lives (Miss Phillips co-creator)

In development

2 primetime series

Written in The Stars

Moment of Discovery

2 daytime series

The Innocent Years

Into Each House

 

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On 5/3/2020 at 12:43 AM, Paul Raven said:

SPW Jan 7 1995

The USA network is planning to launch a new soap 'The Drive'.

Leah Laiman, who's written for a number of soaps (she was most recently co-headwriter of Guiging Light; she also created the short lived Fox teen soap 'Tribes'), is the show's creator.

According to Laiman, The Drive will be set in Miami's South Beach and revolve around characters who range in age from 18-34.

"It's not going to have the same emphasis the daytime shows do on the older more staid core-type families. I think it's going to be a lot hipper.

We're looking for something that has a little more oomph.It's a great mix of young models - people trying to make it-and it's got a lot of style.'

The Drive is set to premiere in September

The Drive feels a bit like Sunset Beach without the backing of Aaron Spelling.

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6 hours ago, Liberty City said:

The Drive feels a bit like Sunset Beach without the backing of Aaron Spelling.

Sounds like the Aussie soap Pacific Drive to me.

Not surprised that ideas about a daytime Melrose Place were floating around at the time. Shame that nothing came of it, but it probably would've been lucky to least more than a year.

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Nov 65

Following a quick decline in the ratings of Peyton Place, other primetime proposals were shelved.

CBS dropped a Sunset Boulevard twice weekly serial which Stirling Silliphant was writing for Paramount. as well as East of Eden, based oh the book and movie.

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Variety reported that several producers were vying for the NBC 2pm timeslot that ultimately went to Days of Our Lives.

Colgate-Palmolive thru the Ted Bates Agency proposed 'Crystal' by Orin Tovrov, who was writing C/P's other soap'The Doctors'. Failure of Ted Bates to sell the show saw C/P drop the agency which meant they no longer made money off The Doctors.

Lever Bros proposed 'Masterson's Valley' by Robert J Shaw. They granted NBC full say over program content but no deal.

General Foods thru Universal proposed an update of 'One Man's Family' which had run on radio for years and had TV runs in the 50's.

P&G proposed 'All My Children' which had previously made the rounds at NBC and CBS.

To think what might have been...

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1 hour ago, Paul Raven said:

P&G proposed 'All My Children' which had previously made the rounds at NBC and CBS.

To think what might have been...

Once Agnes Nixon made Another World a ratings success, I'm surprised that NBC and P&G did not revisit the All My Children idea in the late 60s.  If P&G had owned both AW and AMC and airing on NBC, they could have utilized the spin-off idea by introducing the AMC characters on AW, like they did with Somerset.

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On 8/8/2021 at 9:15 PM, Paul Raven said:

Colgate-Palmolive thru the Ted Bates Agency proposed 'Crystal' by Orin Tovrov, who was writing C/P's other soap'The Doctors'. Failure of Ted Bates to sell the show saw C/P drop the agency which meant they no longer made money off The Doctors.

I've always wondered why C-P never produced more soaps. Wasn't TD their only soap?

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On 6/27/2021 at 7:33 AM, Jonathan said:

Is it Lives (rhymes with hives) or Lives (rhymes with gives)?

I've always assumed it was Lives (rhymes with hives) since it was going to be a spin-off of Days of Our Lives, same with Pacific Lives.

Just like how Another World was originally going to be a spin-off of As The World Turns.

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1971

Some outfit called Allstar Enterprises were in talks with New Mexico State Movie commission to base proposed daytime serial 'Dreams in the Dust' in that state for economic reasons as well as locale.

They hoped for a network sale.

Author Kathleen Windsor who wrote the scandalous blockbuster 'Forever Amber' over 20 years previously had been signed as consultant.

Allstar also claimed to be wooing former MGM star Greer Garson for a role.

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Jan 77

Madeline David,NBC daytime VP announces 2 13 week half hour serializations of the novels 'Spindthrift' by Phyllis Whitney and 'The Dark Shore' by Susan Howatch.

I guess when David left the position, the concept died.

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Dec 1977

Agnes Nixon's primetime soap 'Beggars and Choosers' originally  scheduled to air on ABC in May 77 was sidetracked by her involvement in the expansion of All My Children and now is being developed as a 4-6 hour 'novel for television'.

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On 8/31/2021 at 5:10 PM, Paul Raven said:

Jan 77

Madeline David,NBC daytime VP announces 2 13 week half hour serializations of the novels 'Spindthrift' by Phyllis Whitney and 'The Dark Shore' by Susan Howatch.

I guess when David left the position, the concept died.

Michael Brockman took over in Jan 78 at NBC and an announcement was made in June that the idea was canned.

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