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Soaps In The Time of Crisis


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Whoever posted that daytime regular networks will all turn into news stations sure was right.  But I think ABC was looking for any reason to pre-empt GMA3

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Hot take: Not only should GH do an AMC/OLTL 2.0-style time jump and use this opportunity to cut much of the cast and revamp, they should also consider doing podcasted serialized/limited stories via ABC - a viral outbreak story, like some of their best, going back to Lassa Fever. We're going back to GL basics.

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This is going to be really, really bad. I could see soaps not being in production till the summer in the best case scenario. When it  slows down finally  in the LA area, it will probably feel like a massive earthquake hit them. Who knows how long it will take the area to recover and for TV shows to be ok to go back into production. 

 

ETA: It wouldn't surprise me if the start of the traditional  fall season is pushed back this year. Shows won't premiere till early next year and will have shortened seasons. 

Edited by dawn9476
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Who'd have thought DAYS insane production schedule actually works in its favor now? Just bonkers. It's too bad the other 3 can't go on a 3 or 4 day cycle - like have Thursday/Fridays as a 'classic.' Didn't GL do non-storyline episodes on Wednesdays near the end? It's probably not feasible to run repeats with new at this point. I assume we'll get a combo of news specials/repeats when they run out of episodes. 

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2 hours ago, edgeofnik said:

Who'd have thought DAYS insane production schedule actually works in its favor now? Just bonkers. It's too bad the other 3 can't go on a 3 or 4 day cycle - like have Thursday/Fridays as a 'classic.' Didn't GL do non-storyline episodes on Wednesdays near the end? It's probably not feasible to run repeats with new at this point. I assume we'll get a combo of news specials/repeats when they run out of episodes. 

GL did Wed eps that focused on a particular character or storyline. I assume this was done for economic reason - I guess they used fewer actors and sets.

 

If soaps went M-W-F with new eps and Tues/Thurs with reruns?

Would it be feasible to have special episodes that focused on a particular character/story eg Lily/Devon talk about their lives and there are flashbacks. So basically the two actors would be on a set and tape 10 mins or so of wraparound with flashbacks filling in the rest. That would take the place of straight reruns.

Would that be more appealing to viewers?

That would give them a few more weeks of shows to air.

Edited by Paul Raven
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@Paul Raven That's so funny. I came back to edit my post to suggest the wrap-around episodes you mentioned. All 3 soaps have so many true vets with multiple storylines, that it could work. ITA - I think that would be kinda interesting. I gathered people have liked the 'tribute' episodes that Y&R has done.  If they can do it, it would be cheap and better than just a pure repeat with a bunch of irrelevant portions of storylines. 

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1 hour ago, Paul Raven said:

GL did Wed eps that focused on a particular character or storyline. I assume this was done for economic reason - I guess they used fewer actors and sets.

 

If soaps went M-W-F with new eps and Tues/Thurs with reruns?

Would it be feasible to have special episodes that focused on a particular character/story eg Lily/Devon talk about their lives and there are flashbacks. So basically the two actors would be on a set and tape 10 mins or so of wraparound with flashbacks filling in the rest.

Would that be more appealing to viewers?

That would give them a few more weeks of shows to air.

 

Personally, I've long been a fan of airing soaps on a reduced schedule to better keep up with the ever changing entertainment landscape and allowing for daytime to have the ability to air more diverse programming like what is done in primetime. My long held idea is to have the current crop of soaps air Monday through Wednesday, and have a rotation of new shows air on Thursdays and/or Fridays. This can include once a week type fare or a multitude of shows, including dramas, not currently on air. This way we can have the ability to binge watch the soaps at a reduced rate so that they don't lose our attention to something less attention grabbing (meaning the soaps requiring too much of our time).

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I'm of the mind that soaps should have reduced their schedules a long time ago to fit with reduced audiences. One soap doing three episodes a week and another doing two would be much more sensible considering that there is so much filler with five episodes week. Not to mention it would cut the budget.

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What happens to the soap mags with nothing to cover? Is it just going to be wall-to-wall Days coverage? That can't be sustainable. This seems like it'll signal the end for them, they were on their last legs anyway unfortunately. How sad.

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Does daytime lend itself to a variable primetime-like schedule? Curious if there are good examples of that thriving anywhere outside of cable. I suppose the networks could try, but I think there are really good reasons why daytime programming is stripped.

 

The last thing soaps need right now is its remaining casual audience forming other habits while shows are off the air. A long delay could be fatal for the genre.

Edited by Faulkner
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4 hours ago, Faulkner said:

Does daytime lend itself to a variable primetime-like schedule? Curious if there are good examples of that thriving anywhere outside of cable. I suppose the networks could try, but I think there are really good reasons why daytime programming is stripped.

 

The last thing soaps need right now is its remaining casual audience forming other habits while shows are off the air. A long delay could be fatal for the genre.

 

Considering it's a given that they won't be back into production anytime soon, they need to at least limit the amount of episodes per week. I know in the UK they're cutting down on some of their soaps to stretch the episodes. Strangely enough, Emmerdale which airs SIX episodes a week isn't slowing down (nor are they stopping filming). I think 2-3 episodes a week would be fine to keep them going. The alternative of them running out of episodes and just pulling them is risky considering there is no time table for a return.

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The other 3 others are going to suffer greatly when they run out of originals. GH sounds like it has most banked. I’d guess B&B has second most with Y&R the fewest.  B&B’s production and 30-min means they will ramp-up fastest. 

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It will be interesting to see how this pandemic will affect the writing. IF the soaps come back from the break, how will dialogue & storylines have to change?

 

Were the characters quarantine as well?

 

Will the actors be willing to engage in physical contact with their fellow cast members that quickly?

 

Will we see an increase in sci-fi, medical storylines?

 

Food for thought while we wait for this thing to pass...

Edited by Aback
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