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Classic SOD Tumblr Goodies

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I thought I'd create a space for j swift, myself and anyone else who's following along to share the highlights.


We're up to August 21, 1990, which includes:

-- A preview of Patch and Kayla's second wedding, plus the announcement that Stephen Nichols was leaving at the end of September. Mary Beth Evans' comments are witty and on point: "It seems like every couple on our show has been through the marriage, breakup, remarriage routine. The second time around, there's just a bigger ring, a better dress and we all stand around and sob over their vows."

-- Stories about Hunter Tylo getting settled on B&B (it's apparent she didn't enjoy her time on DOOL) and Tonja Walker joining OLTL (pre-crazy Alex is described but not named).

-- An article on why so many established names like appearing on Santa Barbara. Frank Runyeon seems to have gained humility since the Steve and Betsy days. "There isn't the petty competition that happens on so many shows, where there's a king, and then it keeps on going down."

-- The pieces about Terry Lester's "assistant," Longtime Companion and Joe Marinelli's heterosexuality, which j swift talked about on the Classic Y&R thread.

-- MADD's promotion to ABC daytime head and a brief mention about the never-to-be CASINO. I wonder where it would have gone, especially since ABC was still trying its luck with game shows at this time (if they really wanted to play the game, they needed to program at 10 a.m. like CBS and NBC did).

-- Praise for the Gina/Justin relationship on Santa Barbara and a pan for Reva leaving GL as a paranoid, irrational stranger.



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I read the SOD tumblr with the same excitement that I had buying SOD, and a box of Red Vines, back in 1990.  I'm following the RIck Alden trial, which I had totally forgotten, so I am eager to find out who did it.


It is a fun perspective because so many of the soaps were in a period of upheaval.  Every issue has a lot of juicy exit interviews and gossip.  The interviews are oddly frank, by today's standards.  The head writer who left SB in the last issue, open blamed the producer for her leaving and talked about how he was difficult to work with.  It seems like the etymology of blaming network executives for their interference began in SOD circa 1990.  Prior to 1988, they didn't have the Breaking News section, (I still recall when it went from the middle of the magazine to the front section) and there was a long production gap between when the magazine went to press and what aired.  I recall the extra long issues as they caught up to current episodes in the magazine.  So, by 1990 they are really taking advantage of their access and their ability to publish quickly.  You can also see the groundwork for the tabloid news of Soap Opera Weekly, which was my favorite soap magazine.  They clearly needed one place to write soap news and critiques and another to interview soap stars and be more fan-focused.


Between 1989-90, all of the ABC soaps changed executives.  The Daytime Emmy's weren't televised (SOD, which produced its own award shows was always very critical of the Emmys).  Big names like Kim Zimmer, James Depaiva,  and Martha Byrne all left their shows.  There are so many recasts that SOD creates a section about recasting, and in one article they don't even have a photo of the new actress because the recast happened so quickly.  The news veers from the hope of new soaps being created to the despair over the loss of viewers.  It is four years before OJ, and one year after the writer's strike, and the soaps are a mess.


It is also fun to see the actor's real-life changes and think about all of those babies being 28 years old now.

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In today's posting from 9/4/1990 we learn: Jon Hensley dated Paula Barbieri; who later dated OJ Simpson (could Jon Hensley have saved the world from the OJ trial?).  On DAYS, Steve is leaving and  Adriene might also be on her way out of town (sound familiar).  Judy Evans taped a pilot about stand-up comedians (which might explain her current acting as Bonnie).  Generations is desperate to stay on air now that they signed Debbie Morgan, but there is a lot of gossip about why James Reynolds from DAYS was replacing the actor who played Henry (three different articles about the subject).  Two actors have the chicken pox; although one seems suspicious.    OLTL is planning a "rap music" plot (which sounds corny and ill-advised from the origin).

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Today's entries are fascinating because of how many tables would be turned within a year:

-- Judi, of course, went from Days to AW the following summer (I was disappointed her role in the stand-up sitcom was as a girlfriend instead of one of the comics).

-- Jensen Buchanan's time in L.A. was short-lived; she also joined AW in the summer of '91. Also, note "OLTL probably won't recast the role (of Sarah)."

-- James was back on Days (say it with me) in the summer of '91; by September 1990, Generations had less than five months left on the air.


I'm delighted to see Mina Kolb played Aunt Mary. Talk about Chicago credibility -- she's an inaugural member of The Second City. Plus, SOD repeated a bold-faced fib about J.R. Ewing and Sheila Foley/Hillary Taylor (Lucci's character) interacting on Dallas. 


All this, and Ruth Warrick giving her best "Patsy Stone in Hello!" face while in character as Phoebe.

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@FrankoDon't Judy and Jensen both divorce the spouses mentioned in their articles?


I felt bad for the actor being introduced as Harlan on Santa Barbara with a lot of hoopla.  Two weeks before the head writer left, so that's never a good sign for a character that they must have created.  As I recall, the Harlan/Mac/Gretchen/polo story did not go well and it led to Mac's exit.   In fact, I went and checked and Harlan was gone by October, three weeks after this issue was published.



I just wish the always amusing SOD Q&A section was also posted each week.  From the eternal questions about whether Susan Lucci was related to Phyllis Diller to fans asking if two actors looked alike.  There was a question every week that solved a bet between family members about soap history.  Even today, I wonder if the questions are real because why would someone wait for their question to be published and answered rather than just google it?  



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The September 18, 1990, issue was dominated by DOOL:

-- Readers got a primer on the show, with ample space devoted to the show's numerous supercouples. But one pair has ended (Bo/Hope) and three are in jeopardy (Patch/Kayla, Shane/Kimberly and Justin/Adrienne). Will Patch be killed off? Will Patsy Pease return? Will Judi Evans stay?

-- Never fear, though, the supercouple machine continues on. Although the island portion of Cruise of Deception was criticized for being part of a tropical trend, it was noted as having major events (Hope's death, Jack and Jennifer having sex). Next up for Salem, the arrival of Lawrence Alamain (who, in my opinion, is best remembered for his impact on supercouples rather than as a major villain).

-- I'd love to get a large, autographed version of that photo of the Cruise of Deception gang hamming it up.


In other news:

-- Michael E. Knight's on his way out as Tad (AMC) and Daniel Markel's on his way in as Sam (AW).

-- Herb Edelman and Pam Grier's arc as murder-solving detectives on Knots is teased (readers could be fooled into thinking it'd have to do with Karen's stalker).

-- Robert Newman's performance as the grieving Josh (GL) edges out Peter Reckell's work as Bo (DOOL) and easily beats Ronn Moss's work as Ridge (B&B). In true Reva fashion, she's the center of attention (a pre-Gulf War press conference meant the East Coast missed some of her funeral).

-- Bill Bell gives Caroline (B&B) a touching farewell: "Right from the outset, she was very special."

-- Edie Lehmann is blunt about what Katherine should be saying to Robert and Anna (GH). "Basically (Anna) doesn't want anyone; she just wants them to adore her."

-- Some great trivia about salaries: Tristan Rogers was making $500,000 a year. Susan Lucci was making $1.3 million annually. She broke the $1 million mark in 1987 and was at $500,000 (with Tony Geary near her) in 1982. In primetime, Larry Hagman was pulling down $125,000 an episode (I presume for just his acting; wasn't he also a producer at this point?).

-- Appearing on LOVING was no guarantee of a fortune -- the pay was less for a half-hour show, it's produced expensive NYC and because the ratings aren't good, there's less chance for lucrative personal appearances.

-- Possible factual error: It's implied Nancy Frangione was hired at the end of a year. She joined AW in the summer of 1981. Either they mean the new fiscal year was coming up, or AW's budget was locked in for the rest of 1981.

-- Finally, I know he's a handful, but I'd have hooked up with Doug Davidson from 1990.


I'm sorry, @j swift. I don't mean to be hogging all the fun.

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