Retro TV Exec Reveals Details Regarding Reruns of NBC’s Classic Soap, ‘The Doctors’

NBC Universal
NBC Universal

As we reported last week, Retro TV will soon begin airing reruns of NBC’s classic soap opera, “,” which has created quite a stir for soap opera fans! What are the details of the soaps’ blast from the past? And could the network bring other former soaps like “,” “As the World Turns,” and “” to the screen? Retro TV’s Vice President of Production, , spoke with TV journalist about these questions, so check out some excerpts after the jump!

WILL MCKINLEY: When will The Doctors premiere? Will it air during the afternoon in typical soap fashion?

MATTHEW GOLDEN: We haven’t yet announced a premiere date for The Doctors. We’re still in the process of assembling all of the assets; this extends somewhat to the schedule for it, but as it stands right now, we plan to double-strip it Monday through Friday in the early afternoons. (Editor’s Note: “double-strip” means two episodes will air back-to-back.)

WM: Will you start the series from the beginning of the run in 1963? Or, as with many other soaps of the era, are some early episodes no longer extant?

MG: We will begin with the 1967 season, which is the first of the show to be produced in color.

WM: The fear with fans is often that a network will begin airing a soap and then discontinue it, with no way to see additional episodes. Will your commitment to airing the series in its entirety be based upon /audience response?

MG: There are a great number of episodes, and even double-stripping the series would run over six years with no repetition. We are committed to the series, and our commitment, like all networks’, is rooted in favorable response. That said, this is not a test: we will be running the episodes we’ve licensed, and if the response is good, then we’ll renew and continue.

NBC Universal
NBC Universal

WM: Daytime dramas, even extremely popular ones, are almost never rerun. Why do you think that is, and why do you think contemporary audiences will care about The Doctors?

MG:I think the largest part is the inherently unwieldy nature of daytime serials; this show alone ran over 5,000 episodes, all heavily serialized. The bounty of episodes produced for a daily serial effectively means that it will never run in repeats on a general-interest or current-programming network. The commitment necessary to re-run something like a soap opera is something Retro TV can offer, and a lot of other broadcast outlets can’t (or don’t). We have an opportunity with Retro TV to return this kind of serialized drama to audiences on a large scale. The bottom line is that enjoyable storytelling is universal and timeless, and can captivate audiences of any era. We believe The Doctors to be one of the series that most typifies these qualities.

For the entire Q&A session with Golden — including whether or not the network is open to airing other classic soaps — check out the full interview here.

  • timsdale4ever

    God bless you! I have never seen any of this show and am hungry to see a soap from yesteryear. Today’s shows are just so boring to me for some reason. Shows in the 70’s and 80’s were exceptional. I guess because of excellent writing of excellent stories combined with incredible actors who weren’t all 18. I can’t wait to sample this one.

  • Danny Hill

    The Doctors started in 1963 as an anthology series, then, at some point, became a soap..i started watching late in 1970 – around the time Nick Bellini (Gerald Gordon) was operating on his nephew, Rico..I don’t know how far back RetroTV plans on going, but i hope it’s as far back as t hey can reach!!! My ‘favorite’ characters were: Althea (Elizabeth Hubbard), Nick (Gerald Gordon), Matt (James Pritchett), Maggie (Lydia Bruce), and the evil John Morrison (Patrick Horgan)..Eileen and Robert Mason Pollock were writing the show when I started watching..they should have never left!!

  • James Stone


  • GarageQueen

    Hey, did you guys pay Will McKinley for his original blog post, or just reprint a large chunk of it without his permission?