How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of 'GH,' 'The View' and 'The Chew'; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of ‘GH,’ ‘The View’ and ‘The Chew’; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

Kambra Clifford, West Coast Editor

Photo: NBC

Friday, May 21, 2010 2:48 PM ET | By Xavier Toups

( — Ratings for the Week of May 10 – May 14, 2010.







Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings

Ratings for the week of May 10 – May 14, 2010

(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

Total Viewers
1. Y&R 5,113,000 (+45,000/+188,000)
2. B&B 3,187,000 (+78,000/-101,000)
3. GH 2,698,000 (+40,000/+140,000)
4. AMC 2,500,000 (+62,000/-55,000)
5. DAYS 2,444,000 (-53,000/-261,000)
6. OLTL 2,416,000 (+91,000/-79,000)
7. ATWT 2,237,000 (-29,000/-234,000)

1. Y&R 3.7/13 (+.1/+.1)
2. B&B 2.3/8 (+.1/-.2)
3. AMC 1.9/7 (same/-.1)
3. GH 1.9/6 (same/same)
5. OLTL 1.8/6 (+.1/-.1)
5. DAYS 1.8/6 (-.1/-.2) <—- ties low rating (August 3-7, 2009)
7. ATWT 1.7/6 (same/-.2)

Women 18-49 Viewers
1. Y&R 1,196,000 (+61,000/+72,000)
2. GH 924,000 (+33,000/+9,000)
3. OLTL 724,000 (same/-134,000)
4. B&B 688,000 (+90,000/-59,000)
5. AMC 651,000 (+15,000/-184,000)
6. DAYS 625,000 (-44,000/-219,000) <—- new low
7. ATWT 520,000 (-27,000/-57,000)

Women 18-49 Rating
1. Y&R 1.8/12 (+.1/+.1)
2. GH 1.4/9 (+.1/same)
3. OLTL 1.1/7 (same/-.2)
4. AMC 1.0/7 (same/-.3)
4. B&B 1.0/7 (+.1/-.1)
6. DAYS 0.9/6 (-.1/-.4) <—- new low (Previous low May 3-7, 2010 with 1.0)
7. ATWT 0.8/5 (-.1/-.1)

Girls 12-17 Viewers
1. GH 33,000 (-25,000/-20,000)
2. OLTL 25,000 (-6,000/+2,000)
3. Y&R 25,000 (-21,000/+5,000)
4. B&B 19,000 (-10,000/+4,000)
5. AMC 15,000 (-8,000/+7,000)
6. ATWT 9,000 (-12,000/-7,000)
7. DAYS 5,000 (-1,000/-25,000)

Women 18-34 Rating
1. Y&R 1.0/7 (+.1/-.1)
1. GH 1.0/6 (+.1/same)
3. DAYS 0.8/6 (-.1/-.2)
4. OLTL 0.7/5 (same/-.3)
4. AMC 0.7/5 (same/-.3)
6. B&B 0.6/4 (+.2/-.1)
7. ATWT 0.4/3 (+.1/-.3)

Men 18+ Viewers
1. Y&R 1,115,000 (-21,000/-14,000)
2. B&B 696,000 (+33,000/-23,000)
3. DAYS 525,000 (+45,000/-20,000)
4. GH 523,000 (+12,000/+147,000)
5. AMC 473,000 (+38,000/+8,000)
6. ATWT 432,000 (+13,000/-74,000)
7. OLTL 421,000 (+10,000/+18,000)


Day-To-Day Ratings – HH/Total Viewers


  • Monday: 1.9.0/2,422,000
  • Tuesday: 1.9/2,571,000
  • Wednesday: 1.8/2,597,000
  • Thursday: 1.9/2,444,000
  • Friday: 1.8/2,465,000
  • ATWT

  • Monday: 1.8/2,283,000
  • Tuesday: 1.7/2,260,000
  • Wednesday: 1.7/2,177,000
  • Thursday: 1.6/2,238,000
  • Friday: 1.7/2,225,000
  • B&B

  • Monday: 2.4/3,262,000
  • Tuesday: 2.3/3,287,000
  • Wednesday: 2.4/3,260,000
  • Thursday: 2.3/3,096,000
  • Friday: 2.2/3,029,000
  • DAYS

  • Monday: 1.9/2,620,000
  • Tuesday: 1.8/2,338,000
  • Wednesday: 1.9/2,588,000
  • Thursday: 1.8/2,293,000
  • Friday: 1.8/2,379,000
  • GH

  • Monday: 1.9/2,623,000
  • Tuesday: 2.0/2,804,000
  • Wednesday: 2.0/2,755,000
  • Thursday: 1.9/2,675,000
  • Friday: 1.8/2,631,000
  • OLTL

  • Monday: 1.9/2,480,000
  • Tuesday: 1.9/2,541,000
  • Wednesday: 1.8/2,456,000
  • Thursday: 1.7/2,202,000
  • Friday: 1.7/2,400,000
  • Y&R

  • Monday: 3.8/5,066,000
  • Tuesday: 3.9/5,450,000
  • Wednesday: 3.8/5,191,000
  • Thursday: 3.6/4,922,000
  • Friday: 3.5/4,937,000
  • ————————————-

    For the SEASON September 21, 2009 through May 16, 2010

    1. Y&R 3.8
    2. B&B 2.4
    3. DAYS 2.3
    4. GH 2.1
    5. AMC 2.0
    6. OLTL 1.9
    6. ATWT 1.9

    Women 18-49 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.9
    2. GH 1.5
    3. DAYS 1.4
    4. AMC 1.1
    4. B&B 1.1
    4. OLTL 1.1
    7. ATWT 0.9

    Photo: ABC

    Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:00 PM ET | By Xavier Toups

    ( — Ratings for the Week of May 3 – May 7, 2010.







    Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings

    Ratings for the week of May 3 – May 7, 2010

    (Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

    Total Viewers
    1. Y&R 5,068,000 (+153,000/-103,000)
    2. B&B 3,109,000 (-140,000/-251,000)
    3. GH 2,658,000 (-38,000/+213,000)
    4. DAYS 2,497,000 (-53,000/-239,000)
    5. AMC 2,438,000 (-31,000/-21,000)
    6. OLTL 2,325,000 (+14,000/-114,000)
    7. ATWT 2,266,000 (-40,000/-168,000)

    1. Y&R 3.6/13 (same/-.2)
    2. B&B 2.2/8 (-.2/-.3) <—- ties low rating (Last time: March 29 – April 2, 2010)
    3. DAYS 1.9/7 (same/-.2)
    3. AMC 1.9/7 (same/same)
    3. GH 1.9/6 (same/same)
    6. OLTL 1.7/6 (same/-.2) <—- ties low rating (Last time: April 26-30, 2010 4th Straight Week)
    6. ATWT 1.7/6 (same/-.1)

    Women 18-49 Viewers
    1. Y&R 1,135,000 (+6,000/-22,000)
    2. GH 891,000 (+46,000/+84,000)
    3. OLTL 724,000 (+63,000/-27,000)
    4. DAYS 669,000 (-61,000/-155,000)
    5. AMC 636,000 (+31,000/-102,000)
    6. B&B 598,000 (-108,000/-184,000)
    7. ATWT 493,000 (-38,000/-95,000)

    Women 18-49 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.7/12 (same/same)
    2. GH 1.3/9 (same/+.1)
    3. OLTL 1.1/7 (+.1/same)
    4. AMC 1.0/7 (+.1/-.1)
    4. DAYS 1.0/7 (-.1/-.2) <—- ties low rating (Last time: August 3-7, 2009)
    6. B&B 0.9/6 (-.2/-.3) <—- ties low rating (Last time: March 29 – April 2, 2010)
    7. ATWT 0.7/5 (-.1/-.2) <—- ties low rating (Previous low: August 31 – September 4, 2009)

    Girls 12-17 Viewers
    1. GH 58,000 (+11,000/+17,000)
    2. Y&R 46,000 (+37,000/+29,000)
    3. OLTL 31,000 (+13,000/+1,000)
    4. B&B 29,000 (+21,000/+24,000)
    5. AMC 23,000 (+8,000/+8,000)
    6. ATWT 21,000 (+15,000/+16,000)
    7. DAYS 6,000 (-8,000/-28,000)

    Women 18-34 Rating
    1. Y&R 0.9/7 (-.1/-.2)
    1. DAYS 0.9/6 (same/-.1)
    1. GH 0.9/6 (same/same)
    4. AMC 0.7/5 (same/-.2)
    4. OLTL 0.7/5 (same/-.2)
    6. B&B 0.4/3 (-.2/-.3) <—- ties low rating
    7. ATWT 0.3/2 (same/-.2) <—- ties low rating (Last time: June 22-26, 2009)

    Men 18+ Viewers
    1. Y&R 1,136,000 (+41,000/-93,000)
    2. B&B 663,000 (-17,000/-11,000)
    3. GH 511,000 (-43,000/+73,000)
    4. DAYS 480,000 (-4,000/-70,000)
    5. AMC 435,000 (-69,000/-47,000)
    6. ATWT 419,000 (+3,000/-53,000)
    7. OLTL 411,000 (-35,000/-53,000)


    Day-To-Day Ratings – HH/Total Viewers


  • Monday: 2.0/2,597,000
  • Tuesday: 1.9/2,463,000
  • Wednesday: 1.9/2,462,000
  • Thursday: 1.7/2,206,000
  • Friday: 1.9/2,468,000
  • ATWT

  • Monday: 1.7/2,399,000
  • Tuesday: 1.7/2,229,000
  • Wednesday: 1.7/2,323,000
  • Thursday: 1.6/2,173,000
  • Friday: 1.6/2,206,000
  • B&B

  • Monday: 2.4/3,404,000
  • Tuesday: 2.3/3,241,000
  • Wednesday: 2.2/3,148,000
  • Thursday: 2.2/2,987,000
  • Friday: 2.0/2,763,000
  • DAYS

  • Monday: 1.9/2,629,000
  • Tuesday: 1.6/2,100,000 (did not count)
  • Wednesday: 1.8/2,502,000
  • Thursday: 1.9/2,499,000
  • Friday: 1.8/2,357,000
  • GH

  • Monday: 1.9/2,645,000
  • Tuesday: 2.0/2,818,000
  • Wednesday: 1.8/2,489,000
  • Thursday: 1.9/2,694,000
  • Friday: 2.0/2,646,000
  • OLTL

  • Monday: 1.8/2,369,000
  • Tuesday: 1.7/2,442,000
  • Wednesday: 1.7/2,324,000
  • Thursday: 1.6/2,242,000
  • Friday: 1.7/2,249,000
  • Y&R

  • Monday: 3.9/5,465,000
  • Tuesday: 3.5/5,085,000
  • Wednesday: 3.5/5,094,000
  • Thursday: 3.6/4,865,000
  • Friday: 3.5/4,833,000
  • ————————————-

    For the SEASON September 21, 2009 through May 9, 2010

    1. Y&R 3.8
    2. B&B 2.4
    3. DAYS 2.3
    4. GH 2.1
    5. AMC 2.0
    6. OLTL 1.9
    6. ATWT 1.9

    Women 18-49 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.9
    2. GH 1.5
    3. DAYS 1.4
    4. AMC 1.1
    4. B&B 1.1
    4. OLTL 1.1
    7. ATWT 0.9

    Photo: ABC

    Friday, April 23, 2010 2:00 PM ET | By Xavier Toups

    ( — Ratings for the Week of April 12 – April 16, 2010.







    Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings

    Ratings for the week of April 12 – April 16, 2010

    (Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

    Total Viewers
    1. Y&R 4,902,000 (-431,000/-378,000)
    2. B&B 3,200,000 (-53,000/-274,000)
    3. GH 2,580,000 (-188,000/-45,000)
    4. DAYS 2,563,000 (-154,000/-249,000)
    5. AMC 2,426,000 (same/-146,000)
    6. ATWT 2,258,000 (-65,000/-272,000)
    7. OLTL 2,253,000 (-227,000/-310,000) <—- new low (Previous low: 2,254,000 for December 21-25, 2009)

    1. Y&R 3.5/13 (-.3/-.3)
    2. B&B 2.3/8 (same/-.3)
    3. GH 1.9/6 (-.1/-.1)
    3. DAYS 1.9/7 (-.1/-.2)
    5. AMC 1.8/7 (same/-.2)
    6. OLTL 1.7/6 (-.1/-.2) <—- ties low rating (Last time: March 22-26, 2010)
    7. ATWT 1.6/6 (-.1/-.3) <—- ties low rating (Last time: August 3-7, 2009)

    Women 18-49 Viewers
    1. Y&R 1,070,000 (-139,000/-184,000)
    2. GH 835,000 (-105,000/+19,000)
    3. DAYS 742,000 (-16,000/-136,000)
    4. B&B 695,000 (+37,000/-74,000)
    5. OLTL 600,000 (-115,000/-173,000)
    6. AMC 519,000 (-82,000/-191,000)
    7. ATWT 508,000 (-32,000/-86,000)

    Women 18-49 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.6/11 (-.2/-.3)
    2. GH 1.3/8 (-.1/+.1)
    3. DAYS 1.1/8 (same/-.2)
    3. B&B 1.1/7 (+.1/-.1)
    5. OLTL 0.9/6 (-.2/-.3) <—- ties low rating (Last time: December 21-25, 2009)
    6. ATWT 0.8/5 (same/-.1)
    6. AMC 0.8/5 (-.1/-.3) <—— new low rating (Previous low: April 5-9, 2010 with 0.9/6 | First time at 0.9 was June 22-26, 2009)

    Girls 12-17 Viewers
    1. GH 36,000 (-24,000/-19,000)
    2. AMC 35,000 (+11,000/+8,000)
    3. Y&R 28,000 (-24,000/-11,000)
    4. B&B 24,000 (-7,000/same)
    5. OLTL 23,000 (-10,000/-29,000)
    6. ATWT 21,000 (-10,000/-9,000)
    7. DAYS 10,000 (-14,000/-27,000)

    Women 18-34 Rating
    1. Y&R 0.9/7 (-.2/-.4)
    1. DAYS 0.9/6 (same/-.1)
    1. GH 0.9/6 (same/same)
    4. B&B 0.7/5 (+.1/-.1)
    5. AMC 0.6/4 (-.1/-.3)
    5. OLTL 0.6/4 (-.1/-.2) <—- ties low rating (Last time: December 29, 2008 – January 2, 2009)
    7. ATWT 0.5/3 (same/-.2)

    Men 18+ Viewers
    1. Y&R 1,116,000 (-54,000/-135,000)
    2. B&B 676,000 (+13,000/-91,000)
    3. DAYS 547,000 (+43,000/-59,000)
    4. GH 491,000 (-53,000/+24,000)
    5. AMC 462,000 (+13,000/-46,000)
    6. ATWT 446,000 (+55,000/-106,000)
    7. OLTL 383,000 (-78,000/-94,000)


    Day-To-Day Ratings – HH/Total Viewers


  • Monday: 1.9/2,600,000
  • Tuesday: 1.9/2,573,000
  • Wednesday: 1.8/2,382,000
  • Thursday: 1.7/2,267,000
  • Friday: 1.8/2,307,000
  • ATWT

  • Monday: 1.8/2,425,000
  • Tuesday: 1.7/2,343,000
  • Wednesday: 1.6/2,204,000
  • Thursday: 1.5/1,986,000
  • Friday: 1.7/2,323,000
  • B&B

  • Monday: 2.4/3,417,000
  • Tuesday: 2.3/3,417,000
  • Wednesday: 2.4/3,388,000
  • Thursday: 2.0/2,691,000
  • Friday: 2.2/3,085,000
  • DAYS

  • Monday: 2.0/2,675,000
  • Tuesday: 1.9/2,542,000
  • Wednesday: 1.9/2,578,000
  • Thursday: 1.9/2,487,000
  • Friday: 1.9/2,533,000
  • GH

  • Monday: 1.9/2,608,000
  • Tuesday: 1.8/2,557,000
  • Wednesday: 2.0/2,742,000
  • Thursday: 1.9/2,480,000
  • Friday: 1.8/2,515,000
  • OLTL

  • Monday: 1.7/2,267,000
  • Tuesday: 1.7/2,441,000
  • Wednesday: 1.7/2,281,000
  • Thursday: 1.6/2,090,000
  • Friday: 1.7/2,184,000
  • Y&R

  • Monday: 3.7/5,198,000
  • Tuesday: 3.6/5,147,000
  • Wednesday: 3.6/4,953,000
  • Thursday: 3.3/4,610,000
  • Friday: 3.4/4,604,000
  • ————————————-

    For the SEASON September 21, 2009 through April 18, 2010

    1. Y&R 3.8
    2. B&B 2.4
    3. DAYS 2.3
    4. GH 2.1
    4. AMC 2.1
    6. OLTL 1.9
    6. ATWT 1.9

    Women 18-49 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.9
    2. GH 1.5
    3. DAYS 1.4
    4. AMC 1.1
    4. B&B 1.1
    4. OLTL 1.1
    7. ATWT 1.0

    Photo: ABC

    Friday, April 16, 2010 12:40 AM ET | By Xavier Toups

    ( — Ratings for the Week of April 5 – April 9, 2010.







    April 5 – April 9, 2010

    (Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

    Total Viewers
    1. Y&R 5,333,000 (+282,000/+118,000)
    2. B&B 3,253,000 (+187,000/-97,000)
    3. GH 2,768,000 (+94,000/+257,000)
    4. DAYS 2,717,000 (+135,000/-51,000)
    5. OLTL 2,480,000 (+78,000/+79,000)
    6. AMC 2,426,000 (+3,000/-84,000)
    7. ATWT 2,323,000 (+14,000/-139,000)

    1. Y&R 3.8/13 (+.2/+.1)
    2. B&B 2.3/8 (+.1/-.1)
    3. DAYS 2.0/7 (+.1/same)
    3. GH 2.0/6 (same/+.1)
    5. AMC 1.8/6 (same/-.1)
    5. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/same)
    7. ATWT 1.7/6 (same/-.1)

    Women 18-49 Viewers
    1. Y&R 1,209,000 (+79,000/+18,000)
    2. GH 940,000 (+13,000/+106,000)
    3. DAYS 758,000 (+33,000/-99,000)
    4. OLTL 715,000 (+5,000/-21,000)
    5. B&B 658,000 (+71,000/-52,000)
    6. AMC 601,000 (-47,000/-140,000)
    7. ATWT 540,000 (+33,000/-47,000)

    Women 18-49 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.8/12 (+.1/same)
    2. GH 1.4/9 (same/+.1)
    3. DAYS 1.1/8 (same/-.2)
    3. OLTL 1.1/7 (same/same)
    5. B&B 1.0/7 (+.1/-.1)
    6. AMC 0.9/6 (-.1/-.2) <—— ties low rating (March 22-26, 2010)
    7. ATWT 0.8/5 (same/-.1)

    Girls 12-17 Viewers
    1. GH 60,000 (+11,000/+11,000)
    2. Y&R 52,000 (+15,000/+11,000)
    3. OLTL 33,000 (-6,000/-17,000)
    4. ATWT 31,000 (+19,000/+3,000)
    4. B&B 31,000 (+8,000/+4,000)
    6. DAYS 24,000 (+10,000/-13,000)
    6. AMC 24,000 (-2,000/+4,000)

    Women 18-34 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.1/8 (same/same)
    2. GH 0.9/6 (same/same)
    2. DAYS 0.9/6 (same/-.1)
    4. AMC 0.7/5 (+.1/-.2)
    4. OLTL 0.7/5 (same/-.1)
    6. B&B 0.6/4 (same/-.1)
    7. ATWT 0.5/3 (+.1/-.1)

    Men 18+ Viewers
    1. Y&R 1,170,000 (+85,000/-74,000)
    2. B&B 663,000 (+13,000/-103,000)
    3. GH 544,000 (+69,000/+124,000)
    4. DAYS 504,000 (+3,000/-44,000)
    5. OLTL 461,000 (+43,000/+46,000)
    6. AMC 449,000 (+12,000/-20,000)
    7. ATWT 391,000 (-12,000/-124,000)


    Day-To-Day Ratings – HH/Total Viewers


  • Monday: 1.9/2,506,000
  • Tuesday: 1.9/2,471,000
  • Wednesday: 1.9/2,445,000
  • Thursday: 1.8/2,393,000
  • Friday: 1.7/2,314,000
  • ATWT

  • Monday: 1.7/2,206,000
  • Tuesday: 1.7/2,401,000
  • Wednesday: 1.7/2,290,000
  • Thursday: 1.6/2,336,000
  • Friday: 1.7/2,383,000
  • B&B

  • Monday: 2.4/3,397,000
  • Tuesday: 2.3/3,322,000
  • Wednesday: 2.3/3,146,000
  • Thursday: 2.1/3,122,000
  • Friday: 2.3/3,279,000
  • DAYS

  • Monday: 1.9/2,693,000
  • Tuesday: 1.9/2,610,000
  • Wednesday: 2.0/2,795,000
  • Thursday: 2.0/2,794,000
  • Friday: 2.0/2,695,000
  • GH

  • Monday: 2.1/2,764,000
  • Tuesday: 2.2/3,035,000
  • Wednesday: 2.0/2,827,000
  • Thursday: 1.9/2,693,000
  • Friday: 1.9/2,520,000
  • OLTL

  • Monday: 2.0/2,592,000
  • Tuesday: 1.9/2,555,000
  • Wednesday: 1.9/2,469,000
  • Thursday: 1.8/2,450,000
  • Friday: 1.7/2,304,000
  • Y&R

  • Monday: 3.8/5,334,000
  • Tuesday: 3.8/5,534,000
  • Wednesday: 3.7/5,215,000
  • Thursday: 3.6/5,267,000
  • Friday: 3.8/5,314,000
  •  ————————————-

    For the SEASON September 21, 2009 through April 11, 2010

    1. Y&R 3.8
    2. B&B 2.4
    3. DAYS 2.3
    4. GH 2.1
    4. AMC 2.1
    6. OLTL 1.9
    6. ATWT 1.9

    Women 18-49 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.9
    2. DAYS 1.5
    2. GH 1.5
    4. AMC 1.1
    4. B&B 1.1
    4. OLTL 1.1
    7. ATWT 1.0

    Photo: NBC

    Friday, April 9, 2010 2:47 AM ET | By Xavier Toups

    ( — Ratings for the Week of March 29 – April 2, 2010.






    March 29 – April 2, 2010

    (Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

    Total Viewers
    1. Y&R 5,051,000 (-128,000/-83,000)
    2. B&B 3,066,000 (-121,000/-259,000)
    3. GH 2,674,000 (+38,000/+30,000)
    4. DAYS 2,582,000 (-189,000/-285,000)
    5. AMC 2,423,000 (+27,000/-290,000)
    6. OLTL 2,402,000 (+67,000/-286,000)
    7. ATWT 2,309,000 (-22,000/-296,000)

    1. Y&R 3.6/12 (-.1/-.1)
    2. B&B 2.2/8 (-.1/-.3) <—- ties low (Last time: June 8-12, 2009)
    3. GH 2.0/6 (+.1/same)
    4. DAYS 1.9/7 (-.1/-.3)
    5. OLTL 1.8/6 (+.1/-.2)
    5. AMC 1.8/6 (same/-.2)
    7. ATWT 1.7/6 (same/-.2)

    Women 18-49 Viewers
    1. Y&R 1,130,000 (-50,000/+44,000)
    2. GH 927,000 (+7,000/+63,000)
    3. DAYS 725,000 (-2,000/-119,000)
    4. OLTL 710,000 (+21,000/-143,000)
    5. AMC 648,000 (+23,000/-188,000)
    6. B&B 587,000 (-73,000/-128,000)
    7. ATWT 507,000 (-83,000/-141,000)

    Women 18-49 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.7/12 (-.1/+.1)
    2. GH 1.4/9 (same/+.1)
    3. DAYS 1.1/7 (same/-.2)
    3. OLTL 1.1/7 (+.1/-.2)
    5. AMC 1.0/6 (+.1/-.3)
    6. B&B 0.9/6 (-.1/-.2) <—— new low (Previous low: March 22-26, 2010 with 1.0/7 | First time at 1.0 was July 30 – August 3, 2007)
    7. ATWT 0.8/5 (-.1/-.2)

    Girls 12-17 Viewers
    1. GH 49,000 (+11,000/+9,000)
    2. OLTL 39,000 (+11,000/+14,000)
    3. Y&R 37,000 (+2,000/+7,000)
    4. AMC 26,000 (+4,000/+10,000)
    5. B&B 23,000 (-6,000/+9,000)
    6. DAYS 14,000 (-13,000/-8,000)
    7. ATWT 12,000 (-12,000/-15,000)

    Women 18-34 Rating
    1. Y&R 1.1/8 (same/+.1)
    2. DAYS 0.9/6 (same/-.2)
    2. GH 0.9/6 (same/-.2)
    4. OLTL 0.7/4 (same/-.3)
    5. AMC 0.6/4 (-.1/-.4)
    5. B&B 0.6/4 (-.1/same)
    7. ATWT 0.4/3 (-.1/-.3)

    Men 18+ Viewers
    1. Y&R 1,085,000 (-91,000/-186,000)
    2. B&B 650,000 (-34,000/-117,000)
    3. DAYS 501,000 (-82,000/-124,000)
    4. GH 475,000 (+33,000/+15,000)
    5. AMC 437,000 (+17,000/-96,000)
    6. OLTL 418,000 (+4,000/-61,000)
    7. ATWT 403,000 (-9,000/-132,000)


    Day-To-Day Ratings – HH/Total Viewers


  • Monday: 2.0/2,589,000
  • Tuesday: 2.0/2,571,000
  • Wednesday: 1.8/2,376,000
  • Thursday: 1.7/2,220,000
  • Friday: 1.7/2,360,000
  • ATWT

  • Monday: 1.8/2,469,000
  • Tuesday: 1.7/2,382,000
  • Wednesday: 1.7/2,339,000
  • Thursday: 1.6/2,151,000
  • Friday: 1.6/2,205,000
  • B&B

  • Monday: 2.4/3,419,000
  • Tuesday: 2.2/3,333,000
  • Wednesday: 2.3/3,092,000
  • Thursday: 2.0/2,741,000
  • Friday: 2.1/2,747,000
  • DAYS

  • Monday: 2.1/2,854,000
  • Tuesday: 1.9/2,619,000
  • Wednesday: 2.0/2,686,000
  • Thursday: 1.9/2,538,000
  • Friday: 1.7/2,213,000
  • GH

  • Monday: 2.1/2,826,000
  • Tuesday: 2.0/2,637,000
  • Wednesday: 1.9/2,614,000
  • Thursday: 1.8/2,553,000
  • Friday: 1.9/2,738,000
  • OLTL

  • Monday: 1.9/2,505,000
  • Tuesday: 1.9/2,503,000
  • Wednesday: 1.8/2,307,000
  • Thursday: 1.7/2,320,000
  • Friday: 1.7/2,375,000
  • Y&R

  • Monday: 3.9/5,677,000
  • Tuesday: 3.7/5,375,000
  • Wednesday: 3.7/5,037,000
  • Thursday: 3.4/4,566,000
  • Friday: 3.4/4,598,000

    Photo: ABC

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 9:36 PM ET | By Xavier Toups

    ( — “All My Children” names their new head-writing team.

    Soap Opera Network has learned that David Kreizman and Donna Swajeski are the new Co-Head Writers at “All My Children.”

    “AMC” has been without an official Head Writer ever since the firing of Charles Pratt Jr. in November 2009.

    There is no word yet on what will happen to Lorraine Broderick, who was brought in as an “Associate Head Writer” to help with the transition. Broderick served as a member of “AMC’s” writing staff from 1979 thru 1991 and was the head scribe at the ABC soap from October 1995 to December 1997.

    This will be Kreizman’s third tenure as a Head Writer or Co-Head Writer. He was HW/Co-HW at CBS’s “Guiding Light” from 2004 until the show’s final episode on September 18, 2009. Kreizman had served on the “GL” writing team for about seven years prior to the promotion.  When “GL” ended, Kreizman joined “As The World Turns” as Co-Head Writer. In December of 2009, it was announced that “ATWT” will end in September 2010.

    Swajeski will be reunited with Kreizman, whom she worked with at “GL” as his Co-Head Writer from 2003 to 2008. Swajeski’s other Head Writing tenure was at “Another World” from 1988 to 1992. She’s been writing scripts for “The Bold and The Beautiful” before joining “AMC.”

    Both won a Daytime Emmy (Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team) in 2007 and a Writers Guild Award (Daytime Serials) in 2004.

    Stay tuned to SON as more information becomes available.

    “All My Children” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings. “AMC” now also airs online at which can be accessed 24/7.

    • All My Children
    • AMC
    • David Kreizman
    • Donna Swajeski
    • Lorraine Broderick

      Thursday, April 9, 2009 6:00 PM ET | By Xavier Toups

      ( — Nancy Curlee is a former soap opera writer who has written for Guiding LightShe began writing for the show in 1985 as a Script Writer and quickly rose up the ranks, holding positions as Breakdown Writer, Script Editor, Associate Head Writer, Co-Head Writer and then eventually becoming the show’s Head Writer from 1990 – 1993 (she shared the position with James E. Reilly, Stephen Demorest, and Lorraine Broderick). She is a three time Daytime Emmy winner (including one as part of the Head Writing team in 1993) and a Writers Guild Award for the 1991 season.

      Curlee graduated from Hollins College, in 1979, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She also attended college at University of East Anglia in England for a year. Curlee is married to Stephen Demorest, who is also a soap opera writer. The two met in June of 1985 in Pamela K. Long’s (GL’s Head Writer at the time) living room. Within two weeks, they started dating each other and have been together ever since. They have three daughters and currently reside in North Carolina.


      Xavier Toups: What have you been doing since leaving GL in 1993? What are you currently doing now?

      Nancy Curlee: I’ve always kind of needed to disappear into a cave for big stretches. That’s hard to do with three daughters who need more of me than that allows. I’ve spent the last several years really focused on my family. We’ve done some traveling. I’ve done a little acting, for fun, in local plays and some student films. I’m only now getting back into doing some writing, short stories, mainly. And I am loving it.


      Toups: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

      Curlee: I’m not so sure you decide so much as discover that you are. I was making books out of paper towels by age five.


      Toups: When/Why did you decide to become a soap opera writer?

      Curlee: I began as a screenwriter, and sold a couple of features before moving on to gainful employment. The movie scripts were romantic comedies, but were never produced.


      Toups: How did you get your first job in the soap opera industry?

      Curlee: Maeve Kinkaid (Vanessa) was a family friend through the Streeps – she’s married to Harry. She put me in touch with Proctor and Gamble’s scriptwriting development program. Then producer, Gail Kobe, who liked my sample script, had lunch with me. We talked and laughed all afternoon, and finally she sighed and said, “What am I going to do with you?” Being 26 and appallingly dumb, I said, “Hire me?” Thankfully, she did.


      Toups: Did you watch soaps before joining Guiding Light in 1985?

      Curlee: I did. As the World Turns, All My Children, and of course, Guiding Light. I always knew that [they] were so much better than they were given credit for being.


      Toups: Were there any soap writers whose work you admired while you was growing up and watching soaps?

      Curlee: I really loved Doug Marland, and though I didn’t know it at the time, Patrick Mulcahey. Those stories and scripts in the late 70s, early 80s were brilliant.


      Toups: As a Script Writer and Breakdown Writer, were there any specific episodes that you were really proud of?

      Curlee: I wrote Reva’s wedding to Josh, and a lot of the scenes between Josh and Marah at the time of her death. I loved those. And many of the Alex and Alan Spaulding scenes, my favourite being a moment where they were lunching at the Club, waiting for HB Lewis to join them. Alex explained HB would be late, and Chris Berneau asked if he had to finish his “chores”? I can’t think of a funnier word coming out of Alan Spaulding’s mouth, and Chris was so perfect in his delivery. I also did the Cliff House scenes between Holly and Roger, and they were both so good, they could have made the phone book sound like high art.


      Toups: What were your duties as Script Editor?

      Curlee: I was in charge of tracking and continuity, and essentially read and edited all scripts for story irregularities, and where necessary, cleaned up the dialogue.


      Toups: Did you have a favorite position, since you were in every position on a soap opera writing staff?

      Curlee: Scripts are great fun, particularly if you have enough trust from the headwriter to expand and put your own stamp on them. (See Patrick Mulcahey.) But headwriting was the best, because as exhausting as the work was, it was just glorious to get the whole boat moving in a direction you liked, to weave all of the characters and stories, to have things appear, recede, come back. It’s like a Victorian novel on speed.


      Toups: In 1989, you were promoted to Co-Head Writer. What was your role in that position under Head Writer Pamela K. Long?

      Curlee: We shared responsibilities for stories. I was able to put the Roger/Mindy/Billy/Alex story in motion, which had great legs, I thought, and focused on actors I particularly liked. I did a lot of the layout of the week, which meant breaking the stories down into episodes.


      Toups: Then in 1990, you promoted again to the Head Writer position, along with the late James E. Reilly, and your husband Stephen Demorest. Then later, Lorraine Broderick joined the Head Writing team. Can you tell us how you felt when you were given this huge responsibility?

      Curlee: The hard part was gaining the trust of the executives, so that they eventually loosened the reins and allowed us to steam ahead with stories they were initially reluctant to sign off on.


      Toups: As a team, what was the Head Writing process like? How were the responsibilities distributed?

      Curlee: It varied according to the people involved. I am naturally the bossiest, so they were gracious enough to let me drive a lot of the time. Stephen is brilliant at lay out, particularly with mysteries. Jim Reilly was a genius at upping the ante and also taught me how to infuse the show with more energy and run mini-stories that were really fun and entertaining. He was great fun and a pleasure to work with. I worked less with Lorraine who didn’t stay long after I returned from a maternity leave. Patrick was a soul mate, loved all of the same stuff Stephen and I did. He was especially good at the Cooper family stories, and Buzz Cooper in particular. He had such a great way of turning a story slightly askew and telling it from a very specific vantage point you might not have considered before. I think Buzz Cooper was his baby, and I loved what he did with that.


      Toups: James E. Reilly has been one of the most talked about Head Writers in the last two decades. What was it like to work with him as Co-Head Writers?

      Curlee: Jim was a prince of a fellow – a great big heart, a wild sensibility, and he was just the most fun. We definitely came at story telling from different places, and it was a shotgun wedding. But I learned so much from him, and had a ball while doing it. He was so good at the big stroke, the grand gesture. He was also my salvation in learning how to work with the executives when we were embattled for a time. You can’t imagine how much and how hard we laughed holed up in those airless little rooms at CBS.


      Toups: How was Head Writing a soap with your husband, Stephen Demorest, like?

      Curlee: Stephen’s strengths are so different from mine, it was a blessing we had each other. He is meticulous, methodical and really, really smart. He was an island of calm in turbulent waters. I’m much more prone to big bursts of enthusiasm, and was always so emotional about it all. He was so good at plugging holes, dotting i’s and crossing t’s and knitting it all together in a way that made it hold. He’s also very dry and funny. And pretty cute, too.


      Toups: Sometimes having “too many cooks in the kitchen” can be the downfall of a soap, but how did the Head Writing team keep the show on such a creative high?

      Curlee: You had bloody better have a lot of respect for each other’s talents, and really trust each other to present a unified front to the execs, first of all. With Stephen and Jim and Patrick, we really had each other’s backs. We recognized what each person brought to the table. We knew a rising tide lifted all boats, and so we made it work. I was the youngest, the “girl”, and the bossiest. But we adored each other, and trust me, that COUNTS.


      Toups: The dialogue was so crisp during your tenure, what did you look for in Script Writers?

      Curlee: People who avoided clichés, found a fresh way to say things, had essentially the same sensibility about the characters and the show, in general. How lucky were we to have Patrick, Courtney Simon (who is unbelievably good), and Lynda Miles working on the same show?


      Toups: How did you come up with three years worth of storylines without feeling burnt out?

      Curlee: By the end of my time there, frankly, I was burned out. More to do with endless meetings defending our work and pitching and justifying, than with the writing itself. But it is hard, under any circumstances, to maintain that kind of quality. I probably should have relinquished more control of it, in hindsight. I felt very protective of the material and the actors, and had a hard time saying okay, that’s good enough if I didn’t think it really was.


      Toups: Do you have any favorite moments from the Writers Room that you can share?

      Curlee: You know, the best times came when we were so tired we were slapdrunk, and bordering on insane. At that point, people would just say anything, the more outrageous the better. If a starlet were being especially difficult on set, we’d contemplate giving her a wasting disease of the skin. There were also times we would be so invested in the way a particular scene should play out, we’d get teary eyed doing the dialogue for it.


      Toups: What storylines did you not enjoy writing?

      Curlee: I wasn’t really very plugged into the Francesca/Mallet story we told after Jim and Stephen and I began…just wasn’t invested and felt like it was a drag. I was a little embarrassed by the way in which Roger Thorpe was initially brought back, after I had fought so hard to get him there. (Anybody remember the mask and the undersea cave? Right.) I thought Marcy Walker was a brilliant actress, but the character of Tangie was a mess…too abrupt and superimposed to be woven in well. And I loved Ellen Parker. ‘Nuff said.


      Toups: What storylines did you really enjoy writing?

      Curlee: When the edict came down on Ellen, we were determined to at least make it as important as it should be. I think that two weeks of writing and acting was perhaps the best we ever did as a company. Ellen, Peter Simon, Maeve Kinkead, all of them really, were brilliant. I loved the love stories we launched in the beginning, Harley and Mallet; Mindy and Nick McHenry, and the archetypal struggle between Mindy and Alexandra; Alan Michael and Eleni and Frank Cooper; Billy and Vanessa and Nadine. Holly and Roger. The murder mystery that kicked off with Blake dangling her feet in the pool at the Club, and screaming her head off when she discovered the body. I loved Jenna and Buzz and Roger scenes. Hart and Bridget and Julie and Dylan.


      Toups: What is the one single storyline during your Head Writing tenure that you feel represents the best of your work?

      Curlee: The stuff I enjoyed the most is listed above. I think the fans would be able to answer that better than I could.


      Toups: Who were some of your favorite characters/actors to write for?

      Curlee: Alexandra, Roger, Billy spring to mind, because they were just so big. All of them really. Rick Hearst as Alan Michael used to deliver his lines with exactly the same cadences I had heard while writing them. Eleni? Holly? Blake? Vanessa? Harley? All of them were favourites in some way or another.


      Toups: Who was the most difficult character to write for and who was the easiest?

      Curlee: For me, Tangie was the hardest and least successful, mainly because we never had time to develop her the way I would’ve liked. That’s honestly the only one who comes to mind…all of the others felt natural as breathing.


      Toups: What type of storylines do you love?

      Curlee: Love stories, domestic/family drama, mysteries.


      Toups: What type of storylines do you hate?

      Curlee: Convoluted corporate business stories.


      Toups: In 1985, Charita Bauer died. How did the writers respond and how did they try to move the show forward from such a loss?

      Curlee: I had begun doing writing workshops for P&G, but had not yet joined the show that spring of 85, so I wasn’t there. I’d watched and loved her for years and so I felt her loss as keenly as any viewer. The Bauers had been so marginalized at that time, I don’t think she it was made as important as it should have been.


      Toups: Was it difficult writing Alex as the head of the Spaulding family after the tragic loss of Chris Bernau (Alan Spaulding)? What was that transition like?

      Curlee: Beverlee McKinsey was up to anything we asked of her, but Chris Bernau’s Alan was painful and his absence was keenly felt.


      Toups: Roger Thorpe returned to the show in 1989. Who made that decision and why did they think it was time to bring him back?

      Curlee: Pam Long had never seen Roger, so when we heard he was available, I convinced her to write him in. The execs were another story, feeling it would violate a reality they felt had been firmly established with his death. We actually sat and studied his fall from cliff, hitting rewind again and again, arguing over whether his head had made contact with a rock, with the execs. It’s hilarious in retrospect, but at the time, deathly serious. Finally, I got Ed Trach to concede that there were “no skeletal remains”, the be all end all in soap opera resurrections. Ed, by the way, was Roger’s greatest fan, and no one was happier and more grateful for his scenes a year or two down the road.


      Toups: What is the key to writing a successful complex villain like Roger?

      Curlee: The clear understanding that nothing is really black or white…it’s the gray zone that’s most interesting. As I’ve said elsewhere, the villain always thinks he’s the hero, especially in Roger’s case.


      Toups: How hard was it to transition the show after Kim Zimmer left in 1990 to a more ensemble piece, since Reva was such a huge character that was given a lot of airtime?

      Curlee: I thought Kim was amazing, and GL is fortunate to have had every second of her that they’ve ever gotten. It wasn’t Reva’s fault that the show was unbalanced. I was always more in favour of the show as an ensemble piece, but there was no reason Kim couldn’t have been part of that. There was some resistance at one point about bringing her back, but it never came from the writers.


      Toups: Were there any plans to bring Reva/Kim Zimmer back during your Head Writing tenure?

      Curlee: See above.


      Toups: The Blackout storyline in the summer of 1992 was such a popular story. Who initially came up with the idea and why was that such a big story?

      Curlee: Wasn’t that terrific? I was on maternity leave, so I honestly don’t recall. I know Stephen and Jim and Jill were working together really well at that point, but don’t know who had the initial seed.


      Toups: Was Jenna supposed to be a short-term character and if so, why did the show decide to expand the role?

      Curlee: Stephen created Jenna, and then we all fell in love with her (and Fiona Hutchinson). The romance we created between Buzz and her was just a colossal stroke of luck in terms of chemistry and plot, and we couldn’t bear to let her go.


      Toups: In 1993 the character was Buzz was introduced, was it difficult writing for him when the character’s daughter, Harley, who went in search of him, left soon after he was introduced?

      Curlee: Harley was there for long enough to ground him, and to have a good storyline with Mallet, as well. By the time she left, he was pretty well grounded in the show.


      Toups: What were the challenges of writing young characters, like Bridget and Michelle, so realistically for the most part, since younger characters are awfully written in general?

      Curlee: It helped to have a daughter of my own around Michelle’s age. And with Bridget, well, it helped to have a memory. And an actors of that caliber.


      Toups: Why did you feel the need to bring Bridget on the canvas, since Maureen was the only surviving Reardon?

      Curlee: First choice would’ve been Nola, but I wanted a young Nola, and that was the model for Bridget.


      Toups: Was there any intention of pairing Bridget and David Grant romantically?

      Curlee: We always thought they were a natural, but even that recently, the network was reluctant to do an interracial story line.


      Toups: Was it difficult writing for African American characters, since the Grants had such a prominent role on the show?

      Curlee: Well, I grew up in the South, and contrary to popular wisdom, black people and white people live in closer proximity to each other there, and tend to know each other a lot better than in more segregated urban environments. It would’ve been nice if we’d had more African American writers, but we didn’t have anyone coming through the door at that particular point, though of course they were out there. I just hope African American viewers felt it was authentic enough.


      Toups: How did Beverlee McKinsey’s sudden departure impact the storyline plans?

      Curlee: It was a huge disappointment to see her go, but I loved Beverlee as a friend as much as I did as an actor, and it was the right choice for her.


      Toups: The decision to have Roger and Holly sleep together 15 years or so after the infamous rape, why did you think it was time for Roger and Holly to connect sexually again?

      Curlee: Because the truth is, that was only one truth among many between those two characters. Holly was 19 when she fell for Roger. I just loved watching them together, in every single facet of their complicated relationship.


      Toups: What was the reasoning behind making Maureen the only one to see and accept Roger for who he really was and never judged him?

      Curlee: Maureen was an old soul, and there always was such a sweetness in Roger underneath all of the scar tissue. At the risk of using a beat to death cliché, it was not unlike Rhett Butler and Melanie Wilkes. She had the calm center that helped him be his best self in her presence.


      Toups: So many writing regimes have never really understood the character of Alan-Michael Spaulding (played by Rick Hearst), but the character seemed to come into his own during your tenure. What makes this character special and so difficult to write?

      Curlee: Stephen and I both grew up with a lot of kids like Alan-Michael, so writing him was not much of a reach. And as with all people, not just privileged trust fund babies, it’s never just one thing, is it? He had so many colors, and so did Rick Hearst. It was fun to play them all.


      Toups: What made the Alan-Michael/Eleni/Frank triangle such a good triangle to write for?

      Curlee: Oh, man. They both just loved her, didn’t they? And there was such a classic contrast there…the earnest, good, hardworking son of immigrants against the darker, more complex, even dangerous, rich kid? But that darker kid having a vulnerability that gets to the girl? Think East of Eden, and you’ve got the prototype.


      Toups: Were there any characters you wanted to introduce but didn’t get the chance to?

      Curlee: Dozens. But it would’ve had to be done organically, over a long stretch.


      Toups: Is there anything you didn’t write that you wished you had?

      Curlee: A more complicated relationship between Maureen and Roger, which would’ve had to have been done with great care, and I’m not even sure it would’ve been romantic.


      Toups: Why did you stop writing for soap operas?

      Curlee: There’s never just one reason, no matter what anyone says. My husband says I tried to be a racehorse, in a business that was really designed for a plow horse. Then again, he really likes me, and resented the way I was “handled” down the stretch. Basically, I felt we’d done something special, with the help of a lot of people, and then when it was really flying, people tried to wrestle it from us and make it something else, or put a different stamp of personality on it that was unnecessary.


      Toups: I’m going to say a couple of names and I would like to know how it was to work with them. First, Pamela K. Long:

      Curlee: Pam was chock full of native talent and with relatively no experience accomplished some wonderful things.


      Toups: Patrick Mulcahey.

      Curlee: What can I say that I haven’t already? I love him.


      Toups: Jeff Ryder.

      Curlee: A dedicated, enthusiastic guy who tended to get all of the blame and none of the credit for his years as headwriter with Pam Long.


      Toups: Richard Culliton.

      Curlee: One of the best soap writers ever. I just loved his scripts.


      Toups: Nancy Williams Watt.

      Curlee: Loveable and hard working and great, great fun.


      Toups: Trent Jones.

      Curlee: Another wonderful writer, Trent and I had a real brother/sister relationship. We laughed, we cried, we threw pencils at each other… I think he’s great.


      Toups: Gail Kobe.

      Curlee: A great nurturer of young talent.


      Toups: Robert Calhoun.

      Curlee: A pro, who really put his neck on the line for me at a certain point. I’ll always be grateful and have great affection for him.


      Toups: Jill Farren Phelps.

      Curlee: For all that has been written, slamming Jill, no one should ever question how much she loved GL. She loved good writing and good actors, and was one of the best technical directors I ever worked with. There was a time when she and I finished each others’ sentences, and I’ll always remember that fondly.


      Toups: Ed Trach.

      Curlee: He absolutely loved GL, and told me when he retired that he was prouder of his affiliation with the show during our time there than he ever had been. His departure really marked the end of an era, and it really hasn’t been the same since.


      Toups: If you returned to television writing, what type of show would you like to write for or create?

      Curlee: I think Friday Night Lights may be as close to the kind of show I would write as anything on the air right now. I felt that way about Once and Again with Sela Ward, too. My big love is for family drama and love stories, done with an ensemble cast.


      Toups: What was your reaction when you heard Guiding Light was cancelled?

      Curlee: I felt like a great old family member had passed away, or more accurately, had been taken off life support. I wish that her problems had been addressed and repaired before she reached that stage. Having said that, a show with that kind of history, and that kind of cast, is always revivable. Had the network or P&G indicated any willingness to seriously try to do that, she could have gone on forever.


      Toups: At its heart, what do you believe Guiding Light is all about?

      Curlee: For me, the Guiding Light was always a porch light, just outside the Bauer’s kitchen. Outside, a bad moon may be rising, forces gathering to do you harm, foes behind bushes…Outside, friends may be treacherous, lovers untrue… But if you ran like hell, and made it to the porch, and banged through that screen door, inside there would be warmth and light and the smell of good things cooking. The Guiding Light was about love and home truths and compassion prevailing. For me, anyway, that’s what it was all about.


      A special thanks to Dan Gobble and Alvin O’Brien for contributing to this interview.

      Other interviews with soap opera writers: Sara A. Bibel, Tom Casiello , Karen Harris

      Sunday, October 26, 2008 11:33 PM | By Xavier Toups

      ( – Karen Harris is a television writer whose career spans over three decades – beginning with The Incredible Hulk in 1978 to currently writing for General Hospital, where she first began her soap opera career in 1993. Harris is an award winning writer, having won three Writers Guild Awards in 1994, 1995, 1997 and a Daytime Emmy in 1995 – all wins as a writer for GH. Her other daytime credits include: All My Children, Port Charles, and both seasons of General Hospital: Night Shift.

      Harris was born in Oxford, England and came to the United States when she two years old. After spending several years in Hartford, Connecticut, she moved to Los Angeles at the age of nine.

      Soap Opera Network had the privilege to chat with this extremely talented writer about her career in daytime and her new internet project called Life In General for SON will have more information about and the access code (limited to the first 300 people who use it) at the end of the interview.

      Xavier Toups: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

      Karen Harris: Quite late. I worked in P.R. (mostly music business). I worked as a production assistant and associate producer at public television, in news and in variety, and for a while, I typed scripts to pay the rent. I thought people were born knowing they wanted to be writers…and I didn’t know that. I had a lot of experience in production, but was sort of dragged into writing by my friend from Junior High School, Jill Sherman (Donner). She had ideas but didn’t know structure. I knew structure from working with so many writers. We figured between us we could be one decent writer.

      Toups: How did you get your first break in the entertainment industry?

      Harris: I managed rock bands in high school, and was a go-go dancer for a while! But my very first job in entertainment was as a personal assistant to a singer/songwriter named Bobbie Gentry (who had two HUGE hits: Ode to Billy Joe, and Fancy). I left college to go on the road with Bobbie. Through her I met a Variety producer/writer named Bernie Rothman who brought me into television as his assistant. My first writing job was on the TV series The Incredible Hulk with Bill Bixby. Jill and I had started writing spec scripts by then, and Ken Johnson (who created The Bionic Woman, The Incredible Hulk, V, and others) liked our work, gave us our first script assignments and by season 2 hired us to be story editors. We stayed with the show for 5 seasons, becoming producers. We were under contract to Universal Studios and both as a team and separately, started getting work on other shows, pilots, mow’s [movie of the week], etc.

      Toups: When/Why did you decide to become a soap opera writer?

      Harris: Television went through one of its cycles in the early 90’s. The type of television I did (mostly action/adventure) was out of favor and Comedy was King. I got a call from Wendy Riche, who I’d worked with occasionally at Universal (she was a producer). She had become EP [Executive Producer] of General Hospital and invited me to join the show as a Script Writer. Then I found out what the pay scale was. I felt I couldn’t afford to work in daytime just then – I’d been a showrunner, and an Executive Producer. I’d written pilots for Spelling and Universal, worked at Sony and Columbia. I would have had to write ten episodes of GH to equal just ONE prime time episode, let alone giving up my producing fee. Wendy asked me to think about it – she felt that once I got used to the genre, I had Head Writer potential. I was grateful for the offer, and promised her I’d keep it in mind.

      Toups: How did you get your first job in the soap opera industry?

      Harris: I eventually took Wendy up on her offer. I’d had a great career in prime time for over a decade. I began to sense that, with the kinds of shows I was known for writing were now less popular, I might need to recreate myself and my career. So I wrote a couple of MOW’s for Fox, and wrote a couple of prime time episodes (there were very few for freelance writers at the time), and I socked the money away, called Wendy, and said “let’s give it a try.” I’ll always give Wendy credit for believing I could be successful in the genre, and give myself credit for not being too proud to try something new. It turned out to be a great fit.

      Toups: Did you watch soaps before getting the GH job?

      Harris: While growing up, we watched the NBC soaps in my house. My mother and older sister were Days Of Our Lives and Another World fans, so that was my association. I also remember The Doctors and Somerset. I watched a little bit of Dark Shadows. I wasn’t big on the prime time soaps. I didn’t watch Dallas, or Dynasty, or Knots [Landing] , or even [Beverly Hills] 90210. The closest to prime time soaps for me, I suppose, were Family and Rich Man, Poor Man, and Centennial when I was still in school. I also loved thirtysomething. I remember my sister also used to rave about Santa Barbara. She loved it.

      Toups: What was it like to write scripts under Claire Labine and what did you learn from her about soap opera writing?

      Harris: I learned just how much I didn’t know about soap writing. It was a great education. And Claire is an amazing woman and a generous headwriter. It was because of Claire that I got to write the first long story for Sonny Corinthos. This was a character who was brought in on a short contract, to mess with Karen Wexler, and I fell in love with him the minute I saw him. We’d start getting outlines, and I’d call Claire and say “I don’t think Sonny would say that,” or “I think he wouldn’t react that way.” Claire laughed about it, and asked if I wanted to write his backstory. So I got to come up with Sonny’s childhood, and his relationship with Deke, and the whole Joe Scully story. Mike Corbin (Sonny’s dad) was based on my father-in-law – a funny, hip guy with a gambling addiction who had walked out on his family, and was always looking for a quick buck. I had been fortunate enough to write two very early Sonny/Brenda sequences when we were testing their chemistry. The first was on the docks, when Brenda was moving…carrying boxes and literally ran into Sonny. The other was a Valentine’s Day show, where Sonny and Brenda were both looking to buy a car and had this huge flirtation at the dealership, filled with innuendo, and double entendres. It was very hot! They were very successful together (there’s an understatement), and their love story was the centerpiece of that long story. I didn’t know what it meant to be part of creating a supercouple at the time…and of course, we couldn’t know they’d be a supercouple until we got well into it. But Sonny & Brenda are a huge source of pride for me. I love them still.

      As for what I learned: I learned that daytime was special because you could take as much time as your story/characters need to delve into their emotions. I learned that balance matters, though it isn’t always perfect. For example, I believe it was when we were telling the Stone/Robin AIDS story, the network wanted humor to offset the intensity. We ended up with a character named Madame Maya, who was in a story with Lucy Coe. I think we all agreed, it was a case of ‘jumping the shark.’ Stone and Robin were so beautiful. I’m not sure what light-hearted story would have done it justice, but Madame Maya made me cringe. I also learned about ‘umbrella’ stories – taking something and having it affect everyone on the canvas. For example, BJ’s heart transplant was a much bigger story. It was called “The Bet” and started with Damian Smith betting Lucy Coe he could get the next woman who walked into (I believe it was) the Outback. That woman was happily married nurse Bobbie Jones. The pursuit of Bobbie ended with Bobbie and Damian being caught in a clinch by Tony Jones at the moment that Maxie was dying from heart disease, and their daughter was brought in a coma from a school bus accident. It was fabulous. I think the greatest lesson I learned from Claire is that one should push characters further than you think they would go. Take them to the edge, then take them further. I have trouble with this because my logical/sensible side is screaming “he/she’d never do that!” I remember in the first Sonny/Brenda longstory, I had written one ending, where Brenda is framed and stands trial because of Sonny. Claire changed it to Brenda wearing a wire against Sonny (ostensibly to prove to Ned that Sonny wasn’t in the mob). I remember Elizabeth Korte (GH’s long time Associate Head Writer who was our continuity person at the time) was as enamored of Sonny and Brenda as we all were. Elizabeth and I double-teamed Claire. We called her and begged her not to do it. I was convinced that if Brenda wore a wire, Sonny would NEVER forgive her, and that would be the end of our supercouple. Claire laughed and said, “but won’t it be delicious watching them try to get back together?” She did it her way, and it was a good year or more of terrific soap story, with the audience cheering for them to find their way back together. We kept putting obstacles in their way…bigger and badder. And it just made their love stronger.

      Toups: There were three big social issue storylines that Claire Labine wrote: Monica’s breast cancer, BJ/Maxie’s heart transplant, and Stone’s HIV. Can you tell us about writing scripts for those storylines?

      Harris: It was pure joy. We, the Script Writers and Breakdown Writers, used to call each other and read our scenes to each other out loud, and weep. I actually wept reading the outlines. It was a very special time.

      Toups: What were some of your favorite scripts that you wrote from the Labine era?

      Harris: Everything Sonny & Brenda. The Return of Luke and Laura with young Lucky. Kevin and Lucy. Ned and Lois… they were so much fun. I got to write Tony’s goodbye to BJ, just before he gives them the okay to take her off life-support. And the day that ended with Felicia falling to her knees as she realizes that Maxie is getting BJ’s heart… “No, not B.J. Not Barbara Jean…” (I well up now, just remembering it.) The whole Stone AIDS storyline was so special. I think that’s why I still love writing for Robin today, because to me she’s still the girl who loved Stone, and who grew up that summer. I love the Q’s – Edward is still one of my faves. Some of my favorite scripts were the simple ones. There was an episode where Luke and Laura tell Lucky they’re going to have another baby (that would be Lesley Lu). Claire set aside the entire Act 2 for that one single scene of the Spencer Family and how they handle this news. (I used to tell Tony Geary that my key to writing the Spencers is to think of them as the Cleavers on LSD. The perfect family, only twisted). Another episode that sticks with me was when Stone was dying, and Sonny and Robin know he won’t make it to Christmas, so they decide to give him Christmas at Thanksgiving. Sonny and Mike, still at odds with each other, end up in the kitchen, arguing over how to roast a whole pig. I actually got to reference that in a script the other day – Mike mentions it to Kate. These two macho, emotionally crippled men fighting over a pig because they couldn’t deal with the pain of this beautiful boy’s impending death was so wonderful to write.

      Toups: After Claire Labine left, Robert Guza Jr. became the Head Writer and you became Co-Head Writer. Who decided you make you Co-Head Writer?

      Harris: That would be Wendy Riche, plus the network I imagine. Bob, of course, could have nixed me, but we met, and got along well. So I was in. It was a great time. Bob was brimming with wonderful ideas and energy, and we were all so devoted to the show and its characters. It was a wonderfully creative time.

      Toups: What were some ideas that you came up with?

      Harris: We had a great team, and we all came up with ideas. Bob was Head Writer, I was Co-Head, Meg Bennett was Associate Head Writer, as was Michele Val Jean who was also responsible for script editing. We called ourselves “the Brain Trust.” It’s hard to remember who came up with what…someone would have an idea, someone else would run with it and write it up. Then we’d all throw in more ideas. The stories we came up with included Clink-Boom. This was another twist in the never-ending saga of Sonny & Brenda – Lily dies at the moment that Brenda and Jax clink their champagne glasses to seal their marriage. It was the climax to the first Sonny/Brenda long story under Guza’s regime. The end was written to get us to Lily dying at the very moment Brenda became unavailable to be with Sonny. Foiled again! There was also the arrival of Carly in PC: This started out as “Bobbie has a daughter”, pitched to us by one of the producers, and turned into a great sort of “All About Eve” story. The return of the Cassadines and introduction of Nikolas as Laura’s first-born son.

      Toups: Who made the decision to bring the Cassadines back?

      Harris: It was pure Guza. The return was the first thing Bob wanted to do. He had written them in the 80’s and was chomping at the bit to bring them back to the canvas.

      Toups: Why did you leave the show in 1997?

      Harris: Bob had gotten Sunset Beach on the air, so he’d left. A new Head Writer [Richard Culliton] came in with his own vision. It seemed like a good time for me to move on to other opportunities. I’d had a great 4 year run. But Daytime can be a grind – 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, with no relief. It’s a killer. I told Wendy at the time that I needed to work on something where I could write ‘fade out’. Hour episodic, 13 episodes and a hiatus. Get off that 52 week treadmill. They asked me to stay, but I was ready to go.

      Toups: After being gone from daytime for about 3-4 years, you returned to soaps when you became Co-Head Writer of the General Hospital spinoff Port Charles in 2000. Why did you decide to come back to daytime?

      Harris: Wendy Riche again. I’d been working in syndicated action shows a lot (Highlander, Jack London’s Tales of the South Seas) as well as a number of international co-productions. I was producing as well as writing. But Port Charles was another Head Writing opportunity, and it was a chance to write for characters I knew/loved (especially Kevin and Lucy). I was thrilled.

      Toups: Was your tenure as Co-Head Writer on PC different than your Co-Head Writing stint on GH in terms of how much input you had?

      Harris: I think on PC, I was more of a Head Writer…where I was definitely Bob’s Second on GH. Or maybe, by Port Charles, I was just more ready to lead.

      Toups: One of the biggest storylines you help create was the Nurses Strike. Can you tell us about why you and (Co-Head Writer) Jonathan Estrin wanted to tell this story?

      Harris: The way it was told to me, the show had gone off track a bit, away from the hospital setting. We were asked to “turn the ship around” which meant doing something big, but trying to do it fairly quickly. We felt the Nurse’s strike was a way to get the attention all back to the characters and goings-on at the hospital.

      Toups: What did you enjoy the most during your Co-Head Writing tenure at PC?

      Harris: Giving Kevin a daughter (Livvie) that played back to a wonderful story Michele Val Jean had created for the character when he was still on GH. I got a chance to create some wonderful characters. Alison and Jamal were brought in the very first week. I loved them – we got to do an interracial love story where race was never mentioned, or even an issue. Class was more of an issue than race. I always admired how David Kelley writes color-blind shows. Daytime had done interracial couples many times, but not (to my knowledge) in a way where race was not an issue. I always felt Port Charles’ strength was that it was character driven. Plot is very difficult to do on a half hour show. Character is the heart and soul of a show like that. At least that’s my opinion. At our wrap party, I was talking to Erin Hershey and Brian Presley. I think they were just recently married. I realized that the first character I created on PC was Alison (Erin’s character), and the last one I created as I was heading out the door was Jack, played by Brian. Because of that they had met and fallen in love, and married. I remember looking at this gorgeous couple and telling Erin that it was probably the most important thing I ever did…unintentionally being their cupid. To me, that was what mattered. Everything else – success and failure – pales compared to having that kind of effect on two people’s lives.

      Toups: What did you think of the new direction into the supernatural? Should the show have stayed focused on the hospital?

      Harris: The lower ratings required something dramatic. I like the idea of a supernatural soap, but I had a hard time with taking THAT particular show and turning it into something out of this world. Barbara [Esensten] and Jim [Harmon Brown] were more comfortable coming in cold with those marching orders. I came back every once in a while to write scripts. It was easier to execute the vision than to try to turn the ship to that extent.

      Toups: How did you learn about Port Charles’ cancellation?

      Harris: We knew it was possible. When I stepped down as Head Writer of PC the ratings were hovering around 2.1, and everyone was worried it was on the bubble (in today’s world, we’d have been 3rd in the rankings). The ratings kept drifting down in the new format until they reached around 1.5. That was the core audience, the loyal few. Cancellation was inevitable. I don’t remember exactly how I learned – I imagine one of my colleagues called with the news.

      Toups: Next was All My Children where you were a Script Writer. What were some of your favorite episodes you wrote?

      Harris: I got to write the ‘baby switch’ story. Not bad considering I was only there for a year. And I got to write the script with Bianca’s farewell as she flew off to Paris (for the first time). That was a real privilege. I’m happy to see that Vincent Irizarry is back. I loved writing his character [Dr. David Hayward].

      Toups: What was it like to reunite with Bob Guza? It was about 9 years since the first time you worked with him.

      Harris: It was like going home! Bob, Elizabeth, Michele, Dave Goldschmid (who’d been our Writers Assistant back in the day, but was now a Breakdown Writer when I came back.) I was thrilled. The show had evolved, but GH has such a distinct personality, and so many characters I love, as well as new ones. How could I not love writing Spinelli, and Diane, and Ric. Or the Metro Court Hostage crisis. That was a perfect example of Bob’s ingenuity. He really knows his genre. And we have, I think, the best actors in Daytime. I was just reading an interview with Vincent Pastore from the Sopranos, who plays Max and Milo’s dad. He compared Maurice Bernard to Robert Redford, and Paul Newman – as far as level of acting. I agree.

      Toups: Life In General is an online soap opera that you created, produced and wrote. How was it conceived and what is it about?

      Harris: I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun. In the interest of expediency, here’s a blog I wrote about how Life In General came about. It kind of fills in the blanks on my writing process, and my motivation. Rather than repeat myself here, perhaps your readers would like to read it on my website. By the way, I plan to expand the site as soon as Life in General goes public on October 28tt, with more blogging and background about the show.

      Two things you should know. First, Life in General, which is about behind-the-scenes at a soap opera, and Greenville General, which is the soap opera they work on, were created as ‘pilots.’ This means that they are the first episodes of what I hope will be a full on series, on the web. But we need sponsors to do that, to pay the costs for making the series. The response we get on-line will determine whether we get sponsors – the more ‘hits’ the more likely someone will want to put their money behind it. So I’m hoping your readers will check it out, and if they like it and want to see more, that they’ll recommend the two shows to everyone they know.

      Second, Life in General & Greenville General can be seen on, starting on October 28th – as well as a lot of other wonderful original programs by some very talented people, created during our recent strike between the Writers Guild of America, and the AMPTP (Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers). You can read more about this on my blog.

      Okay, that’s enough of the pitch. On with the questions.

      Toups: Why did you want to write about a “behind-the-scenes” show?

      Harris: It seemed like a natural. When I first started in Daytime, it seemed that everything was a little more fraught, more dramatic, than in prime time. That the shows seemed to reflect what went on in the halls and offices. Everyone always says ‘the real stories are going on behind-the-scenes.’ And it’s true.

      Toups: Are any of the characters or storylines based on anyone?

      Harris: Of course. And that’s all I’m going to say about that for now.

      Toups: There are a lot of recognizable cast members. How were you able to get them to be part of the show?

      Harris: Amazingly, I simply had to ask. The first person I got was Brynn Thayer. She’s one of my dearest friends. We met in 1988, when I wrote and produced a pilot for Universal and ABC called Deadline: Madrid – an ensemble piece about US correspondents stationed overseas. Our pilot was passed over and instead, thirtysomething was picked up…one of my all-time favorite shows. Brynn had just moved to LA from NY, where she’d been Jenny Wolek on One Life To Live. (I didn’t know her – I’d never watched One Life). But we clicked, and have remained friends ever since. Anyway, I went to see her one woman play “The Eulogy” (which she wrote and performed, brilliant woman that she is), and I said… “I have this project for the internet…” and that’s all I got out. She said, tell me where I should be, and when. That opening night, Judith Light (who played her sister, Karen on OLTL) was there with her husband, Robert Desiderio. I took one look, and couldn’t get him off my mind, so I called Brynn the next day and said “Robert has to play your husband.” She put me in touch with him, and I worked around my shooting schedule so he could do it. They both told me they had a blast, and are ready to do the series if it’s picked up.

      JoBeth Williams had signed on to as a sign of support to striking writers. had it’s own sort of Craig’s List – cast and crew people who were interested in working on our projects. JoBeth was listed as someone who’d do projects, if she liked the script. So I e-mailed it to her, and she said ‘yes.’ She brings such credibility to the role, and allows us to be a show that appeals to a wider audience.

      Rife Sibley is a lovely actor, and a good friend. He had worked with my husband in a play, and I never considered anyone else for Rod Steele. It was like the part was written for him, but I didn’t know Rife until long after the character was created.

      Scott Clifton [ex-Dillon Quartermaine, GH] showed up at CBS Radford studios one day during the strike, when we were picketing, and walked with me and Michele Val Jean and Tracey Thomson (now a writer at All My Children). He was such a doll, and when he left, he’d gotten almost all the way to his car when it hit me. I chased him down and said, do you want to do an internet show with me? He said yes. That’s when I created the part of Fritz, the stage manager. I wanted to give Scott something different – not playing a soap actor. And although it’s quite a small part in the pilot, I have plans to make it more meaty if the series goes.

      The last scenes I wrote on GH before we went on strike were the scenes where Georgie’s body is found – and Spinelli’s and Mac’s reactions. I love Lindze [Letherman, ex-Georgie Jones, GH], I was sorry to see her go and I thought “GH’s loss could be my gain.” When Scott committed, I asked him to put me in touch with Lindze, and he did. She was a delight, top to bottom. We almost had a scheduling conflict, but she was able to work it out, and in the end, she said it was one of the more fun experiences she’d had. Everyone thought she was a dream to work with. And I love what she brings to the part of Maddie.

      John Ingle is my secret love. Well, not so secret. He is a terrific man, and a terrific actor. He thoroughly respects writers and the written word. I actually dream about scenes for him on GH, and he never disappoints me. As soon as I asked, he said “absolutely.”

      I was still stuck for a Winnie – the lead girl. But my very talented director, Roy Steinberg, said he’d worked with Arianne Zuker [Nicole Walker, Days Of Our Lives] and she could handle the part. I saw her reel, she came to meet me, and I was sold. At the time, she hadn’t gone back to DAYS yet. I’m hopeful that she’ll be available if we go to series. She took a complex role that was very dear to my heart and made it her own.

      The last of the lead characters to be cast was Jordan Bridges. Jordan’s mother is a friend of mine, and I’d been following his career for quite a while, although we’d never met. But we both knew who the other was. Jordan is a young up-and-coming actor who had starred in a series [Conviction] for Dick Wolf, been one of the leading young men in Mona Lisa Smile, had done several tv movies for Hallmark, and had just finished a 3-episode arc as the love interest on the new Bionic Woman when the strike began. [Jordan also played Oliver on Dawson’s Creek] I approached him about playing Julian – I really wanted an actor who wasn’t identified with daytime. Someone sort of edgy and intellectual as well as attractive. Because of the strike, Jordan was available. He also expressed an interest in the production side, and I told him I’d be happy to let him observe and participate. So about a week before we began shooting, I had all the lead characters committed.

      The other two roles, the two network executives, were cast early in the process. I asked my husband – a very talented writer/producer who had recently returned to acting – to be the voice of the network executive. This is a character I intend to always only be heard…and never seen (not that Bruce Cervi isn’t an extremely handsome man, it’s just the conceit of the role). And the younger network executive is played by a talented actor named Brian Rodda, who moved to LA shortly before the strike. I met him because he was assigned to this project by as our liaison. He was terrific in the role, and a great help all around.

      If you haven’t yet figured it out – I managed to cast this show without a casting director! I did what I’ve always wanted to do. I made calls to friends and respected colleagues, spoke of the project with passion, showed them the written material, and put together a cast that I would match against any. They were all terrific, they worked for no salary, they were professional, and gracious and helpful. I consider myself extremely blessed. One of the reasons I’m so determined to see Life in General move forward is to have the chance to work with these people again.

      Toups: Can you tell us about the production of the pilot?

      Harris: Life in General/Greenville General were shot in two days at a donated studio in Santa Monica. (National Banana is the name of the studio. is the web site where you’ll see what they normally use the studio for. They’re a very avant garde, creative group, and I’m grateful that they loaned us the space). We shot on a Saturday and Sunday the weekend after the strike ended. We shot all the ‘behind-the-scenes’ scenes (the stage, and the prop room where Rod and Maddie are ‘rehearsing’), as well as the two Greenville General scenes. We built those two sets (the hospital room, and Lionel’s dining room), but the others were just a matter of dressing the stage. It was a full day’s work, and it started to rain halfway through the day. Unfortunately the stage has a tin roof, so you could really hear it. That’s why we used rain effects in the two soap scenes…as if it’s raining in the town of Greenville.

      On Sunday, we took over the offices of National Banana. There we shot the 2 hallways, Mary Kate’s Office, and the writers conference room. We had a full crew of solid professionals, all working for free (proceeds from go to the Actors Fund – so it was our way of donating to people who suffered financial hardship because of the strike). If we become a series, all those professional, generous experts in their crafts will be given first opportunity to do the show. I spent days on the phone trying to get things like lunch for the crew donated (or getting friends to make the calls). I had a wonderful production designer in Constance Jolcuvar…another good friend…who was an amazing help in every aspect. And about ten days before we shot, I made several hysterical calls. I was having a hard time doing a lot of the scheduling, organizing, coordinating work, and I was desperate for a line producer. I was put in touch with Nicole Sedmak, and because of her, when we hit the stage, we had budgets and schedules and functioned like a real grown-up production. Roy Steinberg kept things moving on stage, and in the performances, and we were on our way.

      Toups: If LIG is able to get sponsors and funding, how would the structure of the show be?

      Harris: With the pilot as the model, we’ll probably do 12-15 episodes of each. Life in General episodes would run about 9 minutes each. Greenville General episodes would be 6. So that’s 15 minutes total. They’d premiere together each week. The nice thing about this show is you don’t have to watch both. They support each other nicely, but if you don’t care for behind-the-scenes, I hope Greenville General will be a strong enough soap to stand on its own. Same with Life in General. But of course, I’d prefer they be watched as two parts of a whole.

      Toups: What do you think of all the support LIG has gotten already?

      Harris: I’m blown away by the support we’ve gotten. It seems that out of fifty responses to the testing on LIG/GG, maybe two were lukewarm. Everyone else seems to love it almost as much as I do. It’s very popular among the people, and I have several companies who’ve taken it and are trying to sell it to sponsors now. I think people were surprised at what we could accomplish on a shoestring, and for the small screen. I’ve also had great response from the soap press. Not just SON, but I did a podcast with Daytime Confidential, and there have been reviews on Fancast, and WeLoveSoaps. I suspect once we premiere, we’ll get even more attention. And I want to really build up the websites ( and with original material. I’m already working on a decade-by-decade description of Greenville General’s history, so viewers can see the evolution of the show a little bit. Even though it’s a ‘fake’ soap, I’ve created a history for it that goes back to the 50’s. Also on the website, there’s lots of biographical material, and background info on the shows, the characters, and the production.

      Toups: With ratings shrinking every year in daytime, are online soaps the future of soap operas?

      Harris: I absolutely believe that serialized drama is migrating to the internet, as well as to cable channels like Soapnet and Here! and Logo. I hate to say it, but it’s clear that the networks no longer replace cancelled soaps with new ones, so we have to find another place to tell our stories. Serialized dramas are the longest running storytelling in modern media. Guiding Light started on radio, for heaven’s sake. No one can kill the genre – people love their stories. So we storytellers will tell them where we can.

      Toups: You also wrote scripts for General Hospital: Night Shift.

      Harris: I’ve been so fortunate. I got to write 2 episodes in season 1, and then I was signed to write one episode in Season 2 – but when they added an extra episode, Sri Rao [GH:NS’ Head Writer] called and asked if I’d do that one.

      Toups: How is Sri Rao as Head Writer of GH: Night Shift?

      Harris: I think Sri’s terrific. I’m somewhat prejudiced – I’ve known him for over a decade. Sri wrote a wonderful play that I saw in the mid-90’s – a friend of mine was trying to help him find ‘angels’ for it. Anyway, at that time he was blown away when he heard I worked for General Hospital (that was back when I was Co-Head Writer). It was his favorite soap. I arranged for him to bring his mother to visit the set, and apparently it made quite an impression on her. I’ve kept track of him since then, and when I heard his name had come up for GH:NS, I couldn’t have been more pleased for him. I think he’s developed a better understanding of the challenges of writing this type of show. And he did a great job. I know the fans are so happy with him. And it was fun to write. The second one I did was with the veterans coming back – Anna, Robert, Luke, Sean and Tiffany. I had written all those characters on ‘the mother ship’ (that’s how we refer to GH), but I’d never written them with each other. So I had to go to YouTube to figure out Luke’s relationship with Sean, Anna’s with Tiffany, etc. It was a real treat, and I hear everyone was very happy with it. I hope that there will be a Season 3. This is another way to keep soaps alive.

      Toups: Congrats on being elected to the Writers Guild of America West’s Board of Directors! What will you be doing as a board member?

      Harris: Thanks! I’m excited. I was elected to the WGAWest as a voice for Daytime Writers on the west coast. I hope to strengthen our presence on the internet. I want to see more shows like Night Shift and Dante’s Cove on cable. I want to make sure that these shows all have WGA benefits such as health plans, and pensions, so that our daytime writers can continue to write them. I want to give non-daytime writers a better understanding of the genre (it’s so misunderstood, and often maligned) and I want to strengthen the daytime community so we all go into the next negotiation knowing that we are well represented. I also want to build a strong relationship with the daytime writers on the east coast.

      Toups: What are your highest and lowest moments in your soap writing career?

      Harris: I don’t believe in ‘low moments.’ I have a healthy perspective about what I do. Complaining is selfish and negative. When I look back on my career, the “low points” never seem as bad as they might have at the time. My least favorite times serve to teach me. I’m a very fortunate woman in that I get to make a nice living doing what I love. Doesn’t get much higher than that.

      But if I had to pick a low moment, it was the way a small faction of Daytime Writers chose to abandon the Writers Guild during the strike. It’s hard to respect union busters, when I know we would have none of this privileges we have if it weren’t for the guild. That’s why I’m committed to rebuilding the sense of our community. What we do is so special, and unique. We need to treat ourselves and each other with respect and dignity.

      Toups: What are some of the positives and negatives in daytime right now?

      Harris: It’s really not that different than the challenges in all of television, not just daytime. It seems to me there’s not a lot of consistency. The financial pressures at the networks require that changes happen fast. This generally isn’t the fault of the executives – they’re doing the best they can. But we work for multi-national corporations now. Stockholders must be made happy. It’s a shame, because it undermines creativity. Daytime was never designed to be fast – but the marketplace demands it. The attention spans are shorter, which means you have to employ more tricks. Audiences expect more. People don’t have the time to sit for hours. Again, that’s the appeal of the internet – you can watch at your own leisure, almost anywhere. The positives are we have good actors, and are constantly trying to reinvent ourselves. We’ve been around forever, and as I said earlier, I don’t see us disappearing any time soon.

      Toups: As a fan of the genre, what are your hopes and wishes for the future of soap operas?

      Harris: That writers/creators will continue to come up with new ways to tell old stories. That we will get the respect and attention we deserve. That romance will make a comeback (!) That actors will stop rewriting us on set (oops, sorry, had to get that in).

      My personal hope for my own future: that I get to keep creating, and people continue to enjoy what I do, until I just can’t do it anymore.


      will be premiering on Tuesday October 28th at but for those who would like a sneak preview, you can go to and use STV7777GG as the access code.

      About Strike.TV Strike.TV was formed in January 2008 in response to the need for Hollywood creators to exercise their independence. Borne from the collective desire of many of Hollywood’s top writers, directors and actors to create, control and distribute their own stories, Strike.TV is the culmination of that effort and provides an outlet for total creative freedom and high quality, professionally produced content. As the first programmed network with a huge cross-section of genres, Strike.TV breaks new ground by distributing the largest made-for-web original series by Hollywood professionals.

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      Tuesday, June 17, 2008 10:57 PM| By Xavier Toups

      ( — Sara A. Bibel is a soap opera writer who’s written for CBS’s “The Young and The Restless” and ABC’s “All My Children.” She began her daytime career in 2000 as an Assistant to the Producers/Story Coordinator for “Y&R.” In 2004, Bibel was promoted to the writing staff as a Breakdown Writer and Script Writer. In 2007, she left “Y&R” and joined “AMC” where she wrote for a short time. While writing for “Y&R,” she earned a Writers Guild Award in 2005, 2007 and a Daytime Emmy in 2006. Bibel grew up in Berkeley, California and later attended Harvard University, majoring in English and American Literature – she insists despite the way that sounds, her childhood was more “Gilmore Girls” than “Gossip Girl.”

      Xavier Toups: Did you grow up watching soaps?

      Sara Bibel: My best friend got me into “AMC” in junior high. When I was in elementary school, my babysitter was a big “Y&R” fan. Little did I know how useful the hours I spent watching with her would be.

      Toups: When/Why did you decide to become a soap opera writer?

      Bibel: My junior high diary, in addition to the embarrassing passages about my crushes and arguments with my mother contains paragraphs about my dream of writing soaps.

      Toups: How did you get your first job in the soap opera industry?

      Bibel: After college I landed a job in Columbia-TriStar’s TV research department – the department that handles Nielsen ratings and focus groups. I asked to cover the studios soaps – “Y&R” and “Days Of Our Lives.” I went as crazy with it as the SON [Soap Opera Network] ratings thread. [Laughs] I also took a soap writing course through UCLA Extension. “Y&R’s” then Coordinating Producer Nancy Wiard was a guest speaker. That was how she found out I was interested in writing. When the Story Coordinator position opened up, she invited me to interview for the job.

      Toups: What does a Story Coordinator do?

      Bibel: The job entailed inputting the Head Writers edits for the scripts and formatting the scripts, helping with continuity and story research (finding flashbacks for montages, keeping track of things like characters addresses and birthdays), clearance issues (can we legally reference a specific book title? etc.), serving as a liaison between the writers and the producer/production staff. For example, if the set decorator had a question about what the writers wanted a set to look like, she’d ask me and I’d get the info for her. It was pretty much a writers assistant/script coordinator. The job had the title Assistant to the Producers when I started — a relic of what the job had been back in the ’70s. After a couple years, the title changed to more accurately reflect my responsibilities.

      Toups: Did you write scripts or breakdowns at “Y&R” and do you have a preference?

      Bibel: I wrote both over the years. Breakdowns are fun because the whole writing team works together and Breakdown Writers get to work directly with the Head Writers. I liked writing scripts because I enjoy writing dialogue. From a lifestyle standpoint, writing scripts was great because as long as I got my scripts in on time I had complete freedom to create my own schedule – if I wanted to stay up until 2:30AM writing, then sleep in the next morning I could.

      Toups: Would you ever want to be a Head Writer?

      Bibel: If I had the chance, I’d definitely go for it. I think every soap writer and viewer dreams about it. I won’t claim that I’d be brilliant. It’s the most difficult writing job in the entertainment industry. Not only does a Head Writer have to come up with a tremendous volume of material, but there are numerous administrative responsibilities, not to mention constant meetings with the network executives and actors.

      Toups: Do you remember the first episode you wrote?

      Bibel: I believe it was one of the episodes where Kevin was in the hospital after being beaten in prison.

      Toups: What are some of your favorite episodes you wrote at “Y&R”?

      Bibel: Michael and Lauren’s wedding. I was honored that they entrusted a relative newbie with such an important show. Any episode with an Abbott family breakfast. The episode with the first big Kevin-Tom confrontation. The episode where everyone in Genoa City learned John Abbott died – not my idea. I swear! Originally the material didn’t have anyone but the Abbotts reacting, but I felt strongly that his death should impact the whole town. That was one time when I felt my ideas enhanced the material.

      Toups: Was there any storylines or events that didn’t happen but you wish it did happen and vice-versa?

      Bibel: Story plans change for all sorts of reasons, both from external suggestions and stories simply evolving from their original design. With that caveat…

      Originally, Victor’s epilepsy was going to be a much more complicated story. It was going to propel Victor back towards Ashley and Nikki towards Jack. I think that would have been interesting.

      When she first came back, Victoria was going to work for Jabot, in opposition to the rest of the Newmans. That could have been fun.

      Lily and Daniel were supposed to experience realistic financial and emotional struggles as married teens.

      Hindsight is 20/20… Things I wish hadn’t happened: In retrospect, in my honest opinion, Cassie shouldn’t have died. She was a core character played by a great actress who was just getting old enough for teen storylines. A Cassie/Daniel/Lily triangle could have been a great story with multi-generational impact given the connections between their parents. John Abbott shouldn’t have died either.

      Toups: What storylines did you really enjoy writing?

      Bibel: The Tom storyline. I’d been a huge fan of Roscoe Born since his days as Mitch Lawrence [on “One Life To Live”] and Robert Barr [on “Santa Barbara”]. It was a thrill to write for him and I thought Tom was a great villain.

      Daniel & Lily eloping. I thought Daniel and Lily had a sweet, fun romantic dynamic and I enjoyed their parents’ attempts to keep them apart backfiring so dramatically.

      The beginning of “Phlick” [Phyllis/Nicholas]. It was the biggest risk “Y&R” took during my tenure, since Nick and Sharon were the show’s “franchise” couple, but it turned out to bring out new sides of all three characters. It evolved in a way I wouldn’t have expected, but the beginning was electric and exciting.

      The too-brief Nikki and Bobby flirtation. Not only did MTS [Melody Thomas Scott] and John Enos have great chemistry, but from a character perspective it made sense. Nikki’s whole relationship with Victor was about her setting aside her working class roots to become a “lady”, while Bobby liked her because of her roots.

      The original “enemies” dynamic between Adrianne Leon’s Colleen and Kevin. This is one of the few things that I can claim was mostly my idea, so I’ll pat myself on the back. [Laughs]

      Toups: What storylines did you not enjoy writing?

      Bibel: The Abbotts losing Jabot. It broke my heart.

      Daniel’s porn addiction. It actually could have been a good story if it had been about a young guy who is married while everyone else in school is partying and hooking up, and he starts to feel like he made the wrong choice. It would also have been interesting if Lily reflected that attitudes of a lot of college aged women today who aren’t anti-porn. Plenty of college girls appear in “Girls Gone Wild” videos. Lots of colleges have their own sex magazines. I’m not saying that either of those are good things, but they’re out there. But we treated it like it was any other addiction and Lily basically clutched her pearls and acted like she’d never heard of porn before, despite her growing up in Europe in the fashion industry. We were also instructed not to play up the flirtation between Daniel and Amber even though she was sending him nude photos of herself. It was weird.

      Jack and Nikki’s senate campaign. This was hard to write because I wasn’t really sure why either of them wanted to be senator. We didn’t give the audience any reason to root for or against the Clear Springs development, so there was no reason to support one character or another. There was no pay off. It was just months of writing generic campaign dirty dealing.

      Toups: What type of storylines do you love?

      Bibel: Slow burn, genuine romances – Billy & Mac. Relationship of convenience turns to real love – Jake & Paulina on “Another World”. Well structured business stories – Jack & Brad take over Newman [Enterprises]. Stories about strivers from lower-class backgrounds who are determined to make their way into high society – Jill Foster Abbott’s entire life.

      Toups: What type of storylines do you hate?

      Bibel: Plots that aren’t rooted in character history. They rarely satisfy the audience even if they’d be good stories in another genre. Social issue stories that are PSAs instead of character-based stories that touch on a social issue. Serial killers and unnecessary character deaths in general. The obsession with pregnancy related storylines. Sometimes they can be great, but they seem to have dominated daytime for the past 5 years to the exclusion of everything else.

      Toups: How did you feel about the mass exit of long time “Y&R” writers, producers and directors?

      Bibel: It was incredibly painful for everyone involved.

      Toups: Were there any changes to the writing process when Lynn Marie Latham took over as Head Writer?

      Bibel: We all had a shorter turnaround time for our assignments. There were constant personnel changes, so the atmosphere became far more tense.

      Toups: What soaps do you currently watch?

      Bibel: I’m trying to keep track of every show now that I’m blogging, but at the moment “One Life To Live” is my favorite.

      Toups: What soaps would like to write for?

      Bibel: “Santa Barbara.” [Laughs]

      Toups: If you had the chance to work with any soap writer, dead or alive, who would it and why?

      Bibel: Bill Bell. The man knows how to tell a story. His stories weren’t slow; they were carefully plotted. He set up the dynamics between characters and played them in every single scene so that the audience was drawn in and anticipated the payoff. Then he delivered more than they expected.

      Agnes Nixon because she is a genius. She managed to create three-dimensional characters that the audience cared about as if they were real-life friends. Her shows from the 70s feel more contemporary than many of today’s soaps. She knew how to interweave plots like nobody else.

      The Dobsons. “Santa Barbara” was a huge influence on me as a writer. It was such a witty, original show that trusted its audience was intelligent enough to handle sophisticated dialogue and satire. It also was incredibly romantic, creating supercouples that fans still remember. I had the privilege of meeting them one day when they visited “Y&R.” They were smart but incredibly down to earth. It’s a memory I’ll always cherish.

      Toups: What was your first impression when you first met Bill Bell?

      Bibel: I was in awe. I couldn’t believe the man whose career I’d followed since adolescence was shaking my hand and welcoming me to the show! I barely managed to stay calm. He was a warm, friendly man who truly was the heart of “Y&R.”

      Toups: What are you fondest memories of the “Y&R” writer’s room?

      Bibel: I had the privilege of learning from talented, experienced writers who were both mentors and friends. On a less serious note, one day only the female writers were in a blocking meeting. We set a routine conversation between Bobby and Paul in the steam room for entirely gratuitous purposes.

      Toups: What are your highest and lowest moments in your soap writing career?

      Bibel: Highest: Getting promoted to “Y&R’s” writing staff. Winning a Daytime Emmy – a true dream come true. Lowest: Getting fired.

      Toups: What are some of the positives and negatives in daytime right now?

      Bibel: Positives: The incredible fan response to Luke & Noah on “As The World Turns.” Ron Carlivati being promoted from within on “One Life To Live,” doing great work, and slowly being rewarded in the ratings. Negatives: Falling ratings, the downsizing of writing staffs and casts for budgetary reasons after the writer’s strike, the atmosphere of fear and pessimism within the industry that is reflected in the increasingly dark stories on many shows.

      Toups: What do you think is the best way for a soap to hire a Head Writer, promote from within or bring in someone new who’s never written for the show before?

      Bibel: I don’t think there’s one right answer. Carlivati’s doing a great job, but so did Michael Malone in his first go-round [at “One Life To Live”] and he was a novelist. I think people should be hired based on what ideas they have for that particular show, whether they truly understand its characters and history, not their reputation. As we’ve all seen, some writers do brilliantly on one show then not so well on others.

      Toups: How do you think the downsizing of the writing staffs (elimination of Breakdown Writers) will affect the stories being written and the writers who write them? Do you think having Breakdown Writers is important?

      Bibel: I think having enough people on staff is important to avoid burnout and maintain quality regardless of how the staff is organized. Right now some shows have a mandatory 7 day a week work schedule. That’s not going to work forever. I know back in the day Harding LeMay did it on his own. What people don’t realize is back then, writers were more or less left alone to do their jobs. Now on most shows the network goes through everything line by line. They can order changes that necessitate practically rewriting the entire week, but the writers aren’t given extra time to implement these revisions, so people are basically writing and rewriting constantly. Most daytime shows have smaller writing staffs then most primetime shows despite doing ten times as many episodes.

      Toups: As a fan of the genre, what are your hopes and wishes for the future of soap operas?

      Bibel: I hope soaps are still on the air in 25 years. I’d like to believe that the next Gloria Monty exists — someone who has the vision and will to turn daytime into must-see TV again.

      You can check out Sara Bibel’s views on soaps at her wonderful blog at: Fancast.

      Fancast also has full episodes of the entire CBS daytime line-up available for downloading.

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