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

 
Topic:
Marlene McPherson
Steven Bergman Photography

Steven Bergman Photography

According to sources, the “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” head writing team changes occurred with Prospect Park deciding to release Marlene McPherson and Elizabeth Snyder (“AMC”) and Thom Racina (“OLTL”) from their contracts. This is in direct contrast to Susie Bedsow Horgan, who opted to exit her position as co-head writer of “OLTL” (with Racina) in early April, where we’re told she cited personal reasons behind her decision.

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Legion College

Legion College

“All My Children” and “One Life To Live” are back which means more jobs for soap writers!

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Donna Svennevik/ABC

Donna Svennevik/ABC

As previously reported, “All My Children” has named Marlene McPherson and Elizabeth Snyder as co-head writers. What’s so significant about their hiring is that this marks the first time since 2003 that a daytime soap opera has had two females leading its writing team. The last time was with Ellen Weston and Carolyn Culliton co-head writing CBS’ “Guiding Light.” Prior to that was in 2002, when Millee Taggert and Culliton also co-head wrote for “GL.”

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Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

When we reported that Marlene McPherson (pictured right, with former “DAYS” co-head writer Darrell Ray Thomas) had been hired on as head writer of Prospect Park’s version of “All My children” back on January 23, it was unclear at the time as to whether she would be joined by a co-head writer. Soap Opera Network has since learned that it’ll be a “Days of our Lives” reunion of sorts for “AMC” as McPherson will be joined by Elizabeth Snyder, who was an Associate Head Writer at “DAYS” from 2011-2012.

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Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

On Tuesday, January 22, Prospect Park provided soap fans with casting, writing and production updates for its soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” While the company officially confirmed that Susie Bedsow Horgan and Thom Racina would be helming “OLTL,” the status of who’d be leading “AMC” remained unclear. Today, Soap Opera Network can confirm that former “Days of our Lives” Head Writer Marlene McPherson has been named Head Writer of Prospect Park’s online version of “All My Children.”

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Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – In an interview posted earlier today by TV Guide‘s Michael Logan, it looked like “Days of our Lives” Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng was alluding to the possible ouster of actress Sarah Brown when he stated “we also brought in the wonderful Sarah Brown [Madison James] and threw her into a lot of material very quickly. Maybe too much too quickly.” Sadly, it looks like he was indeed commenting on Brown’s character on the show in past tense.

Soap Opera Digest is reporting that Christie Clarke (Carrie Brady), Patrick Muldoon (Austin Reed), Matthew Ashford (Jack Devereaux) and Brown are all being let go in what is being now being called phase one of the mass firings expected at NBC’s “Days of our Lives.”

In the case of Clarke, Muldoon and Ashford, the trio returned to “DAYS” in September as part of the soaps big reboot. Brown joined the cast in early October as the first new character introduced by recently ousted head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr.

Last airdates are unknown at this time as a representative was unavailable for comment at press time, however, considering “Days of our Lives” currently films three months ahead of airdate and the new writing teams material is scheduled to hit the air in mid-August, per Meng, look for the quad to last air in August.

Stay tuned to Soap Opera Network as this breaking story continues to develop.



Thomas A. Montalto/MontaltoPhotos.com

TV Guide‘s Michael Logan got the first real interview with “Days of our Lives” Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng, just days after the soap fired its head writing team and replaced them with the team of Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell. In the interview, Meng promises some epic firings in the coming months!

Although many speculated the reasoning behind Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr.‘s ouster from the NBC daytime drama series, only Meng was able to shed light on how things went down. “We spoke with the network and collectively felt we needed to take a pause, make a change with the writing and the style of the show for a while and see if that will redirect things. The ratings situation is very complex and difficult, and we have a tremendous challenge with that right now,” Meng said to Logan. “Everybody on the ‘DAYS’ team, and that includes NBC and Sony, our distributor, wants this show to succeed and we’re doing everything we can to make it work. We all have different visions as to how to achieve that success but the good news is that we’re all in synch on the future. No one wants cancellation. Even though we brought in Darrell and Marlene to reset ‘DAYS’ last September, it was always our feeling that the show needed to constantly be nurtured with smaller resets. This isn’t the end of the world. We’re just resetting it again in an effort to get it right.”

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Peter Kramer/NBC

On the heels of “Days of our Lives” replacing the head writing team of Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr. with a new head writing team consisting of Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell, TV Guide‘s Stephen Battaglio is reporting that part of the deal NBC signed in order to keep Matt Lauer with the network late last week could include a possible fifth hour of “The Today Show.”

“Lauer’s new agreement keeps him in the coanchor chair of the morning show for four years and includes a program development deal, which could give him an ownership stake in a syndicated show outside of ‘Today,’ TV Guide Magazine has learned. The contract could earn him in the neighborhood of $100 million, according to people familiar with the deal. One idea already being kicked around is spinning off Lauer’s regular segment ‘Today’s Professionals,’ in which he spars over hot-button issues with a panel that includes Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The segment could also be developed into a fifth hour of ‘Today.’

NBC Universal

The ink on Lauer’s new NBC contract is barely even dry, so discussion of how it impacts “Days of our Lives” is too early to tell if even at all. Additionally, the network giving Lauer a stake in a syndicated program doesn’t necessarily mean the end of “DAYS” or any indication of the network looking to tinker with its barely there daytime schedule, which consists of the long-running daytime soap and hours three and four of “Today” (aka: The Today Show 2 and The Today Show 3). A syndicated program could logistically air on any affiliate willing to pay the most dollars to air it. This includes stations that currently air network programming from ABC, CBS, FOX or even The CW.

If, however, the network does decide to add a fifth hour of “Today” on its schedule, it would greatly impact the future of “DAYS” as NBC’s current contract with Sony Pictures Television and Corday Productions, producers of the soap, is set to expire in September 2013. A decision on renewing the show for additional years will not be made until at least March 2013, according to sources.

The latest Nielsen ratings data shows “DAYS” hit a new series low in Women 18-49 viewers and tied its series low in Women 18-49 rating, the key sales demographic advertising rates are set and sold by.



Pictured: Gary Tomlin (Photo: Aaron Montgomery/JPI)

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With news of Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell‘s ascension to the top of the “Days of our Lives” writing team after the NBC daytime soap let go Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr., less than a year after the two were hired to replace Dena Higley, Soap Opera Digest in its newest issue (issue dated April 16, 2012) is reporting that Tomlin and Whitesell has added the multiple Emmy award winning talents of veteran writer Lorraine Broderick to its new regime.

Broderick, who most recently enjoyed a stint at ABC’s “One Life to Live” as a breakdown writer shortly after penning the final months of “All My Children” as the soaps head writer – she was hired at “AMC” just days before the network officially announced it had decided to cancel both soaps with “Children” going off the air in September 2011 and “One Life” completing its run in January 2012 - joins “DAYS” in the same position she had at “One Life to Live” until its final episodes were written. “We are excited and look forward to the stories of romance, suspense and intrigue this new dream team plans to tell,” Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng said via Digest.

Broderick’s long career in daytime television as a writer began more than three decades ago when she was hired on as a script writer at “All My Children” in 1979. She held that position until 1981, when she was named Associate Head Writer. She would begin a short stint as the soaps Co-Head Writer in 1987, but would revert back to her former position as Associate Head Writer beginning in 1988 until 1991. She left “AMC” for “Guiding Light” beginning in 1992, where she was hired once again as an Associate Head Writer (1992-1993). After leaving “GL,” Broderick would find herself at numerous daytime soaps in various capacities including the role of Head Writer and/or Associate Head Writer at “Another World,” “As The World Turns,” “One Life to Live” and “Port Charles.”

Before marking her return to “DAYS” later this year, Broderick was previously credited as Head Writer of the soap for just one month (October 1999).



Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Earlier today Soap Opera Network broke the story that NBC’s “Days of our Lives” has decided to end its relationship with co-head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr. The female half of the dynamic team has now spoken out on Twitter against the decision by revealing that the two weren’t given enough of a chance to develop the soap to where they wanted it to go thanks to network interference.

“NBC never let us tell our stories. They kept stopping us and changing our direction,” said McPherson, who also took the time to thank the fans for hanging in for the ride (for the full tweet, see below).

Sources tell Soap Opera Network that Thomas deleted his Twitter account late last week.

An NBC spokesperson did not return requests for comment at press time.

Marlene McPherson’s Twitter Response

Twitter

Former “Days of our Lives” Co-Executive Producer Gary Tomlin and Co-Head Writer Christopher Whitesell will take over co-head writing duties effective immediately. Note: “Days of our Lives” films approximately three months ahead of airdate, however, in most cases the soaps writing is completed four months in advance. Therefore, depending on rewrites, Tomlin and Whitesell’s material should begin airing sometime in August after the Olympics on NBC.









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