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What if the Snyders not been created on ATWT?  It was a heavenly show before that family was shoehorned in.  Or just introduce Iva..since her character had way more connections with the canvas than the rest of the Synder.

 

What if Lily was Lucinda's biological daughter?

 

What if Buzz Cooper had been killed off in either 1995 or 1998?  thus sparing Nadine and/or Jenna?

 

What if Donna and Matt not broken up on AW?

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21 hours ago, teplin said:

What if the O.J. trial hadn't been televised?

 

Or if it had just been relegated to Court TV, instead of wall to wall coverage, spread out across various networks?

5 hours ago, Fevuh said:

OJ - I think alot of shows would have lasted much longer

 

This will probably be an unpopular opinion but IMO many of the soaps didn't try to compete by putting on their best quality material. 

I can only speak for the shows that I watched but it seemed like some were 'marking time' with filler, believing that when the trial ended, the viewers would return.  Oops, many did not.

 

The trial lasted about 11 months from November 1994- October 1995.  During that time,  on ATWW, Douglas Marland, the show's award winning HW, had already passed away earlier in the year during 1994 and the show got very messy after the new writing regime quickly burned through what was left of his material.  There was very little that was written during that period that was capable of competing with the drama of the O.J. Simpson trial.  JMO.

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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Not to get into a long, lengthy OJ-killed-the-soaps debate, but the majority of soaps upped the ante in the crazy department around 1995 and continued to do so well into 1999 (where the teen craze began, thanks in part to Passions). From the Procter & Gamble soaps playing musical chairs with their EP's and writers to shows exploring more supernatural elements, the hit in the ratings -- thanks to the OJ coverage -- caused many soaps to have a knee-jerk reaction and try to make headlines to entice lapsed viewers to return. The result was a lesser quality product, indeed, but I think the decline in quality was due to the panic to restore their old numbers. DAYS was the exception to the downward trend (and AW, who benefited as the only other NBC sudser). 

 

Soaps were going to decline and die out eventually, but the OJ trial and the misguided efforts to win back lost viewers definitely exacerbated their decline. Interesting note though: If you compare soap opera ratings around 1991-1992 versus 1993-1994 (before the infamous Ford Bronco car chase in June), the majority of shows were actually on an upswing at the time. Ebb and flow I guess, but before the OJ saga, soaps were flowing again

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3 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

What if the Snyders not been created on ATWT?  It was a heavenly show before that family was shoehorned in.  Or just introduce Iva..since her character had way more connections with the canvas than the rest of the Synder.

 

What if Lily was Lucinda's biological daughter?

 

What if Buzz Cooper had been killed off in either 1995 or 1998?  thus sparing Nadine and/or Jenna?

 

What if Donna and Matt not broken up on AW?

Oh disagree.  The Snyders became one of the most interesting families on ATWT.  I started watching in 1981 and only because of my Mom and Grandmother.  The show was dying.  Total boredom.  Then they quit watching during the midget Mr. Big storyline with Tom and Margo and at 11 I saw it was stupid.  The Snyder’s weren’t shoehorned in.  It’s like saying what if Erica could have only been killed off of AMC?  

 

Buzz didnt need to be killed off of GL to spare Jenna or Nadine. 

 

What if Victor died 30 years ago on Y&R - then truly good actors would have a chance. That’s what really could have helped Y&R

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I wonder if there’s just a sense of inevitability to a lot of these scenarios. If it wasn’t O.J., would it have been something else, as media was already trending into the oversaturated 24/7 celebrity scandal mode? O.J. was a perfect storm, though. You couldn’t craft a story to trigger so many deep American and human fascinations and anxieties (racial, sexual, you name it). How could anything have competed with that? 

 

Was O.J. the single most disruptive news event in soap history? I remember the Iran Contra hearings resulting in several preemptions. 9/11? Watergate?

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I do think that the O.J. Simpson trial was disruptive to daytime soaps to a certain extent but I often feel that it is used as an excuse as to why the writing deteriorated during that time period.  ATWT obviously had circumstances that changed the show's trajectory--- their award-winning headwriter unexpectedly died. 

The show had continuity issues in the years after the trial, but many of the stories were just plain dull!  You can't blame that on the Simpson trial. 

In fact, in the decade after the trial, continuity issues became the norm on a lot of soaps.  That may have been more a function of shrinking budgets than anything else.  Even so, in the previous decade. there were many (now classic) episodes where the budgets were modest and the sets were cheap but the scripts were compelling and the performances were so good.

I understand that the Simpson trial played a role in declining ratings, I'm just not sure that the impact was as irrevocable as people in the industry would have us believe.  How much of it was the trial vs. failure to invest in what it would take to continue produce great scripts.  How much of it was the headwriters and execs who didn't want to sublimate egos for the good of the show vs. actually reading up and studying the history of the shows they were working on and writing scripts that had good continuity, rather than seeking to put their own "stamp" on the show?

 

The O.J. Simpson trial lasted for eleven months.  You mean to tell me that the impact would be so deep and lasting on soaps, most of which existed decades before the trial began?  Nah, there were other factors at work that many in the industry simply don't want to acknowledge and so the O.J. trial becomes an easy pat answer that serves as the de facto response.

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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On 4/14/2019 at 6:17 PM, DramatistDreamer said:

I'm not sure how specific to be because probably not everyone who reads this will know the characters that I speak of but here goes:

 

What if...?

 

  • On ATWT, in particular, had they rotated characters instead of purging so many when writing regimes changed, it might have helped continuity just a little bit, even as changes were made.  Just the other day I was watching some old episodes and saw a character Cal Randolph, who I found to be quite interesting and thought it could've been interesting if he had not been killed off and instead made viable and perhaps had a romance with someone like Iva Snyder, down the road since both seemed to have had the misfortune of being put in unrequited love situations.  
  • Also, what if Lindsey Frost had been made into a different Stewart like Annie or Dee rather than Betsy and instead brought back Kim Ulrich, the actress who played Diana McColl.  ATWT often brought back actors to play different roles and Ulrich and Runyeon had a lot more chemistry than Frost and Runyeon did-- perhaps the pairing of Steve and Betsy could've been saved, even for a few more years.
  •  
  • Some actors on ATWT left to do movies and primetime but a lot more left because of the grind of soap acting.  What if these shows had balanced the storylines and cast better to give actors more time and leeway? Some of the most popular actors/couples could've been kept on the show. 
  • Both Gregg Marx and Hillary Bailey Smith (at different times) wanted time to pursue other projects-- if the show hadn't been so rigid about keeping each in heavy story and instead, gave the actors sabbaticals to pursue other things and ceded some of that time to neglected characters (Heather Dalton, Roy Franklin, etc.) the show might have really developed a dynamic African American couple in Heather and Roy (which the show never developed) while keeping a highly popular couple in Tom and Margo with the two actors who brought a lot of romantic chemistry and sex appeal.  Same thing for Scott Bryce and Finn Carter, instead of all of those ridiculous recasts, what if the show had rotated the characters out for a few years, and then just invite the characters for brief storyline arcs as a couple, instead of having Craig venture back to Oakdale, looking like a wayward husband and shoved in some pairing du jour. It would've made more sense to do things the way they did with Penny Hughes left and returned for brief arcs over the years (that should've continued).
  • In short, what if the show had figured out a way to rotate characters so that they could keep their most popular actors on the show for longer periods over time?
  • What if companies like P&G had saved all of their master reels instead of "wiping" shows?  What if they had focused, not on cosmetic changes like theme song but focused on expanding storylines to keep them more relevant to an evolving audience? 
  • What if they had done a better job of promoting their shows as part of the cultural landscape, instead of a guilty pleasure that only housewives enjoyed to cure boredom?
  • What if soaps had created a proper "pipeline" for writing talent?  Properly scouted and recruited students at prestigious writing programs across the country for dedicated fellowships and apprenticeships, had those chosen to assist writers on scripts and then by the end of the program, had writing trainees write a spec script for shows within the P&G universe?
  • What if there was a dedicated group of archivists and restoration professionals to restore the quality of classic episodes the same way films and other TV shows are restored?

Wasn’t Cal Randolph the biological father of Iva Snyder?  YEAH! that storyline would’ve been hella interesting.  The Snyders loved some (almost) incest. 

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11 minutes ago, antmunoz said:

Wasn’t Cal Randolph the biological father of Iva Snyder?  YEAH! that storyline would’ve been hella interesting.  The Snyders loved some (almost) incest. 

 

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 No, that was Cal Stricklyn.  Cal Randolph was killed off by Doug Cummings (or was it Doug's faithful assistant, Marsha Talbot?) sometime in 1985.  Randolph dated Maggie Crawford, Lyla's sister, at one time.

Wait, Jared Carpenter was Iva's biological father!  Cal Stricklyn was Josh Snyder's biological father.  Technically Stricklyn was not related to Iva Snyder but since Josh was the one who raped Iva, any romantic leanings pursued between Iva and Cal Stricklyn would've been beyond the pale.

 

I was talking about Cal Randolph, who was likely gone by the time Iva arrived in Oakdale.

I look at some of the men that Iva was paired with, namely Jason Benedict and John Dixon and they seemed so much older than her.  At least Cal Randolph might have been comparable to Kirk Anderson, who I thought was Iva's best pairing.

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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On 4/15/2019 at 2:12 PM, Forever8 said:

You're Welcome! 

I remember reading the original idea it in the GL Thread.

 

Perhaps Olivia could've gotten tired of Kyle still being enthralled with Reva. So out of revenge she went after Joshua which at first it is strictly for payback but she ends up falling for him. Meanwhile, Kyle could've been the one who became attracted to Cassie because somehow she reminds him of his time with Reva. Kyle and Olivia eventually divorce. Cassie begins to spend time with Kyle who also bonds with Tammy and R.J.. Whilst, Reva is on the outside feeling jealous of her sister and her former lover. Kyle gives Cassie a loan to save the Jessup Farm in exchange she would accompany him to different functions and at first Olivia warns Cassie to watch out because of his past. However, Cassie tells her that she can stand up for herself since she is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks too. Reva too tells her about Kyle but Cassie throws in her face that she is jealous and to worry about her own failing marriage to Joshua. Months down the road, Kyle & Cassie get married in a decked out wedding with most of the cast in attendance. Reva gives the couple her best before once again trying to convince Cassie to be careful. Eventually a heavily pregnant Cassie, Kyle, and Reva somehow get into a car accident which Kyle injuries our fatal in which Cassie raises Holy Hell because Reva would be inadvertently responsible for his death. Cassie becomes a wealthy woman with millions to spare and ends up purchasing the Beacon Hotel. Not before giving birth to their premature daughter Sally named after Kyle's late mother. Kyle would end up adopting Tammy and R.J. like Richard did too.  Cassie would read the hell out of Reva for everything and will end with her being alone since Joshua and Olivia our still together etc... 

 

 

 

While I was not a big fan of Kyle...(maybe it was the actor..no sense of humor as Kyle and flaring nostrils...) I love the idea of Kyle essentially replacing Prince Dickie..AND Alan had out grown his usefullness as the town robber baron villain, both from time (how many recycle stories can he do..) age (I always felt Alan would have gotten more EVIL with age where someone has to kill him for good) and the actor...(RR just was a big bag of wind as Alan.) Kyle could have energized things as I would have had him take over Spaulding, or at least, gain partial control and its he and Phillip vying for ulitimate control. I would have not place Olivia in the exwife, love lorn assistant...I would have her as Kyle's smart, savy right hand who has no feelings for Kyle beyond his being useful to her interests. She sets her sites on Phillip to distract him from Spaulding but ultimately falls in passionate lust (for once, I want to see a soap opera couple who dont fall for gooey love but just really like the sex..) for our golden boy, much to Alex's disgust and distrust "The insects who invaded Spaulding have put a particularly nasty bed bug on Phillip!"  I do like the Kyle/Cassie thing and would have been a much more interesting source of drama in SF then a silly prince.

 

What if.Reva's lost years were not as a stupid Island Princess, but rather running cons with a grifter..kind of a hot version of how Buzz was when he came to town...he comes back and blackmails the Lewises with Reva's many crimes...(maybe a murder mystery where both Reva and the conman believe the other did it but its someone else.) but both Reva and the  partially rehabbed conman not able to hide their feelings...(like I said, I would cast a real hot age appropriate guy for Zimmer,...)

Edited by Mitch
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1 hour ago, kalbir said:

What if Y&R didn't become the Cricket show in the late 1980s?

 

Y&R might have held onto Terry Lester, if only for a few more years. 

After Lester left, ATWT managed to snag Lester for a memorable storyline with Elizabeth Hubbard and Mary Kay Adams, all titans of daytime drama.

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The further we get away from Terry Lester, the more I really just hate Bergman.  I didn’t used to hate him, but I always felt his was a lesser Jack.  When I watch clips of Lester now, especially early Abbot family scenes and scenes with Jill...he was just so good.  Really charismatic.

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Plus, TL literally oozed sexiness, which was an important facet to Jack's persona, especially during the early years.  You could believe that so many women would WANT to go to bed with a man like TL's Jack Abbott.

 

14 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

After Lester left, ATWT managed to snag Lester for a memorable storyline with Elizabeth Hubbard and Mary Kay Adams, all titans of daytime drama.

 

For sure, if Douglas Marland hadn't died, we might have seen Royce's DID storyline play out entirely, instead of being truncated the way it was under Marland's successors.

Edited by Khan
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1 hour ago, Khan said:

Plus, TL literally oozed sexiness, which was an important facet to Jack's persona, especially during the early years.  You could believe that so many women would WANT to go to bed with a man like TL's Jack Abbott.

 

 

For sure, if Douglas Marland hadn't died, we might have seen Royce's DID storyline play out entirely, instead of being truncated the way it was under Marland's successors.

 

First of all, hat tip to you Khan for your kind remarks in the Politics thread.  Nobody's perfect (I used to be the kind who would give it right back double if I felt I'd been insulted but after awhile you realize you're giving others too much of your energy, and it's not worth it, you know?)

Back on topic, lol.

TL's Jack could be a scoundrel, no doubt but like you said, he had sex appeal, he was suave and as others have stated, charisma.  I feel like, after he left Y&R on such a sour note, he only really did short stints on soaps after that-- almost as if he was unwilling to commit long-term to any soap, lest he find himself in another situation that he was in while he was at Y&R.

 

I'm not sure whether Bill Bell Sr. looked at PB's Jack and decided that he wouldn't be able to continue with TL's characterizations but Jack morphed into a different personality very quickly after PB took over the role and from there, the character has evolved into some type of 'sad sack'  getting dumped and cheated on repeatedly and being outdone by just about anybody with half a scheme.  Soon it'll be time for Faith and Christian to outmaneuver Jack in business somehow.

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