Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I was watching Alan Locher's "Locher Room" today, and they did a tribute to Agnes Nixon.
I was told by a fellow viewer that if I wanted to see Agnes' work I could find it at the Northwestern College archives. I was curious, does anyone know how to access the online archives for Northwestern to look at Agnes' work? I am on the site, but all I am finding is the ability to request files that I would have to view in person when visiting the library. Is there anything just scanned in?
Thanks for any help,
Erik
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/31/2021 at 5:46 PM, Lust4Life76 said:
I was watching Alan Locher's "Locher Room" today, and they did a tribute to Agnes Nixon.
I was told by a fellow viewer that if I wanted to see Agnes' work I could find it at the Northwestern College archives. I was curious, does anyone know how to access the online archives for Northwestern to look at Agnes' work? I am on the site, but all I am finding is the ability to request files that I would have to view in person when visiting the library. Is there anything just scanned in?
Thanks for any help,
Erik

Generally, nothing is scanned in by the archive. When you make a request for copies of documents (if the archive does it), they will charge you a nominal rate to scan each page and email it to you. In effect, researchers pay for the digitization of their archives. It's a bit archaic, but it makes plenty of financial sense. Why pay for it out of pocket when a researcher will pay us to do it? 

Additionally, the ALL MY CHILDREN bible is at Northwestern University and the Bell Collection at UCLA. In that iteration of the AMC bible, Erica Kane is never mentioned. Not once. Not even a character called "Susan". There may be additional drafts of the AMC bible with Erica in it, but it hasn't surfaced yet. The earliest mention of Erica from Agnes' Northwestern archive is by Tara in Episode 1. According to an outline by Agnes' Northwestern archive from Episode 10, we finally meet Erica. She has just received her car from her father and drives Tara and Phil home. This could very well be the infamous "Hollywood & Vine" episode, which we may have only seen edited for A DAYTIME TO REMEMBER, not in its unedited state.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, mikelyons said:

According to an outline by Agnes' Northwestern archive from Episode 10, we finally meet Erica. She has just received her car from her father and drives Tara and Phil home. This could very well be the infamous "Hollywood & Vine" episode, which we may have only seen edited for A DAYTIME TO REMEMBER, not in its unedited state.

 

That actually makes a whole lot more sense than what we've heard before --- that Erica was somehow shoehorned into the premier episode to spout her infamous line.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, mikelyons said:

Generally, nothing is scanned in by the archive. When you make a request for copies of documents (if the archive does it), they will charge you a nominal rate to scan each page and email it to you. In effect, researchers pay for the digitization of their archives. It's a bit archaic, but it makes plenty of financial sense. Why pay for it out of pocket when a researcher will pay us to do it? 

Additionally, the ALL MY CHILDREN bible is at Northwestern University and the Bell Collection at UCLA. In that iteration of the AMC bible, Erica Kane is never mentioned. Not once. Not even a character called "Susan". There may be additional drafts of the AMC bible with Erica in it, but it hasn't surfaced yet. The earliest mention of Erica from Agnes' Northwestern archive is by Tara in Episode 1. According to an outline by Agnes' Northwestern archive from Episode 10, we finally meet Erica. She has just received her car from her father and drives Tara and Phil home. This could very well be the infamous "Hollywood & Vine" episode, which we may have only seen edited for A DAYTIME TO REMEMBER, not in its unedited state.

Thank you for this information Mike. I also really enjoyed your posts on the "Race and Racism" in the Soaps" Thread. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The bible for Capitol was once online.

The bible for As The Earth(World) Turns was also.

AW bible available on the AW Homepage and parts of the DOOL bible are at Jason 47's site.

All make fascinating reading.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are the soap opera bibles I've either read, researched, seen, or know where they are:

 

AMC: It reads like it was the original presentation bible meant for P&G. As I mentioned before, Erica isn't mentioned once, but the Martins and Tylers are very much established. It gives a wonderful insight into the world Agnes was creating in the mid-to-late 60s. This bible can be found in Agnes Nixon's Northwestern Archive and Bill Bell's UCLA archive. 

 

ATWT: This bible is well worth a read as it was for the first half-hour soap opera and you can see how Ted Corday, Irna Phillips, and Agnes Nixon really worked hard to elevate ATWT into something special. There's a ton of backstory on the original characters and the intention for the show is clear. This bible can be found in Agnes Nixon's Northwestern Archive and Irna Phillips' vast archive at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

 

AW: To be honest, I found this bible slight and unimpressive. To me, it feels a bit thrown together for the network. This bible can be found at  Irna Phillips' vast archive at the Wisconsin Historical Society and Bill Bell's UCLA archive. 

 

B&B: The language is beautiful and you're instantly drawn in, but if you know the early history of Y&R, it does read like a rehash of Y&R for the 1980s. This bible can found found in the Bell UCLA archive.

 

CORONATION STREET: ITV keeps an archive of everything pertaining to the show and the bible hasn't surfaced. Interestingly enough, an early iteration of the show called SEVEN, BESSIE STREET which established the world of the show when Tony Warren originally pitched it to the BBC exists, but the contents of it haven't been made public. After SEVEN, BESSIE STREET was rejected it was re-worked into OUR STREET (which was rejected by the BBC) and FLORIZAL STREET, which was bought by ITV and renamed CORONATION STREET.

 

DAYS: From what I recall, theme and intention were big aspects of the DAYS bible. It's worth a read to see how a simple family soap opera has morphed over the year. This bible can be found at  Irna Phillips' vast archive at the Wisconsin Historical Society and Bill Bell's UCLA archive. 

 

EDGE OF NIGHT: This bible is thrilling to read as it was created contemporaneously with ATWT, our first half hour soaps. It can be found in the Irving Vending collection at Boston University.

 

EMMERDALE: A small number of early scripts from EMMERDALE are in Kevin Laffan's archive at the University of Leicester. It is unclear if the original bible is part of that collection. 

 

GH: I haven't read it, but I believe it is in the Hursley/Dobson papers at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

 

LOVE OF LIFE: This bible is in John Hess' archive at Dartmouth. It's a simple document which provides the bones of the show, which they kept to until Hess left the series. 

 

LOVING: This bible is quite clear on the show it is meant to be and the show it became. All of the major moving parts are here. I don't believe the Rescotts were included in the bible. It's a good read and not very long. This bible can be found in Agnes Nixon's Northwestern Archive.

 

OLTL: This bible is missing in action. I do not know where it is as it hasn't shown up in Agnes' archives or anywhere else. 

 

RYAN'S HOPE: This bible is missing in action. As far as I know, Paul Avila Miller and Claire Labine's papers have not yet been entered into an archive.

 

SFT: It took me years to track down the SFT bible written by Agnes Nixon because it is missing from her archive and you can't find it by searching online. I found it to be a wonderful document which P&G and Roy Winsor leaned on heavily after they fired Agnes. The SFT bible and ALL of Agnes' original outlines for the first 13 weeks are in the Irving Vendig Collection at Boston University. You cannot make copies or take photos of these documents...you are watched like a hawk. Trust me, they are there. I have read and touched them! How they got there is another story for another day.

 

SUNSET BEACH: The first 29 scripts are in Aaron Spelling's archive at Boston University. I don't know if the bible is there. It could be and wasn't logged by the archivists. 

 

Y&R: Apparently, no one has seen the original bible for Y&R since it was pitched to Screen Gems and CBS circa 1972. Where it is, is anyone's guess? Kay Alden may have a copy or the Bell family. Maybe one of the executives at CBS took it home, put it in a drawer, and forgot about it. I'm hoping it surfaces one day at a rummage sale in Los Angeles. 

 

I hope this helps!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, mikelyons said:

RYAN'S HOPE: This bible is missing in action. As far as I know, Paul Avila Miller and Claire Labine's papers have not yet been entered into an archive.

 

I seem to remember, maybe back in the days of WOST or even SoapNet's "Ryan's Hope" board, somebody had access to the contents of the "Ryan's Hope" bible...And I recall this because of the trivia, that Siobhan Ryan was originally supposed to be a nun!

Edited by Lust4Life76
Grammar
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, BoldRestless said:

@mikelyons thank you for a fascinating post. 

You're welcome!

16 hours ago, Lust4Life76 said:

Thank you for this information Mike. I also really enjoyed your posts on the "Race and Racism" in the Soaps" Thread. 

I debated for a long time whether to tell that story, but it felt like the right moment and the right space.

One last thing: Every single script for AMC and OLTL have been archived and digitized at the University of Pennsylvania. If you call them and ask about they, they'll tell you that they don't have them. However, a ton of researchers quote cite them as did the 25th anniversary AMC coffee table book. If I ever get in, I'll be sure to document Erica's first moments on screen.

 

Not bibles, but complete scripts (that I know of) exist in archives for:

AMC* (see above)

OLTL* (see above)

B&B

Y&R

DAYS

GH

ATWT (Irna's archive has most of them thru 73 when the P&G Collection takes up the slack through the 90s)

SFT (The majority of the first decade or so is in Irving Vendig's archive at Boston University, including Agnes' first thirteen weeks of outlines and scripts.)

LOVING (I'd guess this exists, but the Nixon family has them as they many of them aren't in Agnes' archive.)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh! I'd kill to get my hands on any of these documents. I am still kicking myself years later for not downloading the Capitol story bible. 

 

Tom Casiello apparently has a copy of Marland's story projections for his stint at ATWT. Being his Facebook friend, I asked if he could upload a copy and share but to no avail. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things with bibles that haven't been made public is that the archives know who's been in and can easily track who shared them. If I can find one online, I will share it. I believe I have a copy of the ATWT bible. Since it's already been posted, I'd be willing to share the link.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, mikelyons said:

One of the things with bibles that haven't been made public is that the archives know who's been in and can easily track who shared them. 

What are they trying to do in preventing the story bibles from being shared? I would think they would want to make them accessible in order to educate those who want to create serials or any other type of work? And I mean the towns of Pine Valley, Llanview, Corinth, etc., have already come and gone in their creation, so there isn't any way to plagiarize the work - people just want a rough idea on how to create their own worlds without end based on these bibles the creators all speak of. Forgive the simplicity of that question, but I think had I had access to an example I would have been like EUREKA!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The original bible for AS THE EARTH (WORLD) TURNS: https://www.mediafire.com/file/wzg82vlm3mjpx6b/As+the+Earth+Turns_Bible.pdf/file

3 minutes ago, Lust4Life76 said:

What are they trying to do in preventing the story bibles from being shared? I would think they would want to make them accessible in order to educate those who want to create serials or any other type of work? And I mean the towns of Pine Valley, Llanview, Corinth, etc., have already come and gone in their creation, so there isn't any way to plagiarize the work - people just want a rough idea on how to create their own worlds without end based on these bibles the creators all speak of. Forgive the simplicity of that question, but I think had I had access to an example I would have been like EUREKA!

It's a valid point! I'd say that the one reason why they aren't shared is that they're still under copyright. It's up to the owners (Sony, the Bells, the Nixons, etc.) to decide to release them into the public domain, even as educational tools. They haven't decided to do it. That's the simple truth. If Warner Bros. and Sony can release the script for every Oscar nominated film, the soap opera owners can do the same thing. Hell, even the BBC has scripts and breakdowns of THE ARCHERS, EASTENDERS, and THE DOCTORS on their Writer's site. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, mikelyons said:

It's a valid point!

Thank you

Please register in order to view this content
 Copyright is understandable, I understand that much. And that would detour a lot of people to try to copy, or emulate the style of writing that the respective creator is known for and then try to pass it off as their own.  I think when I looked at "As The World Turns" bible I found it was a nice example in the sense the late Irna Phillips wrote it from the heart, and made it a romantic, very personal creation. But then I wondered are all bibles created equal? What takes did her pupils Agnes Nixon and Bill Bell employ to sell their "worlds" without end. I think if there were access to these materials budding writers could examine their own characters and stories effectively. The way Agnes alleged to have done, per Peter Bergman, who received a character bible for Dr. Cliff Warner upon being hired so he knew where things involved him and other characters story-wise). The bible, a marvelous set of instructions, a gift of oxygen so your brain child may have the ability to flourish and grow. I have to wonder what Charles Pratt's bible for "Models Inc" looked like. Don't get me wrong, I loved that show - but I'd have to wonder. And did Charles Pratt create "Sunset Beach" too for Aaron Spelling?

Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Lust4Life76 said:

Thank you

Please register in order to view this content
 Copyright is understandable, I understand that much. And that would detour a lot of people to try to copy, or emulate the style of writing that the respective creator is known for and then try to pass it off as their own.  I think when I looked at "As The World Turns" bible I found it was a nice example in the sense the late Irna Phillips wrote it from the heart, and made it a romantic, very personal creation. But then I wondered are all bibles created equal? What takes did her pupils Agnes Nixon and Bill Bell employ to sell their "worlds" without end. I think if there were access to these materials budding writers could examine their own characters and stories effectively. The way Agnes alleged to have done, per Peter Bergman, who received a character bible for Dr. Cliff Warner upon being hired so he knew where things involved him and other characters story-wise). The bible, a marvelous set of instructions, a gift of oxygen so your brain child may have the ability to flourish and grow. I have to wonder what Charles Pratt's bible for "Models Inc" looked like. Don't get me wrong, I loved that show - but I'd have to wonder. And did Charles Pratt create "Sunset Beach" too for Aaron Spelling?

Chuck Pratt didn't even write breakdowns on ALL MY CHILDREN, so I doubt he wrote a good bible for SUNSET BEACH.

 

Bell, Nixon, and Hess (LOVE OF LIFE) wrote very specific bibles. They set their shows during a time and a place which was real to them. Nothing felt phony because it was rooted in their truth. I can't say if soap opera writers today do that. 

 

Irna was a master as using themes and character history to build up to the moment you're introduced to the characters. It's not hard to get right, but if you don't know how to structure a bible, it can be very daunting. Since Irna created out first soap opera (and she did a bible of sorts for it), I'd say she's the master of the soap opera bible followed by Agnes Nixon? Why Agnes? She wrote the bible for the first successful TV soap opera, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, the first half-hour soap opera, AS THE WORLD TURNS, and Bill Bell had a copy of her ALL MY CHILDREN (circa-1965) bible in his archive. I think that speaks volumes! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy