ABC to Air Two-Hour Primetime Special, ‘The Story of Soaps’


On Tuesday, May 19 at 8:00 p.m. EDT/PDT, ABC will air a two-hour primetime special dedicated to the impact soap operas have had on television past, present and future.

The special, presented by ABC and PEOPLE magazine, explores how no genre of television has laid deeper roots into our cultural consciousness and serialized storytelling than the soap opera. In today’s shifting television landscape, “The Story of Soaps” traces how female creators migrated from radio to television to become the dominant force in daytime for more than three decades. Today, that legacy is alive and well all over prime time and reality, and much of what propels modern television traces its roots back to those first sprawling, steamy storylines. “The Story of Soaps” takes an extensive look at this iconic, impactful genre and the cultural phenomenon its massive impact has had on the world at large.

“The Story of Soaps” marks the third time that ABC and PEOPLE magazine have partnered on a documentary event and is produced for ABC by the television production division of Meredith Corporation with executive producers Bruce Gersh, Bruce Robertson and Dan Wakeford; and by Maggievision Productions with executive producers Maura Mandt and Rebecca Gitlitz.

A plethora of actors, producers, writers and creators will be featured in the special, including:

  • Abigail De Kosnik, author 
  • Agnes Nixon, creator of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live”
  • Alec Baldwin, actor (“The Doctors”)
  • Allan Sugarman, co-founder of Soap Opera Festivals Inc. 
  • Andy Cohen, creator (“The Real Housewives” franchise)
  • Angela Shapiro-Mathes, executive (ABC Daytime, NBC Daytime)
  • Bradley P. Bell, executive producer and head writer (“The Bold and the Beautiful”)
  • Bryan Cranston, actor (“Loving”)
  • Carol Burnett, actor 
  • Chandra Wilson, actor (“Grey’s Anatomy”)
  • Chris Van Etten, writer (“General Hospital”)
  • David Jacobs, creator 
  • Deidre Hall, actor (“Days of our Lives”)
  • Denise Richards, actor (“The Bold and the Beautiful”)
  • Donna Mills, actor 
  • Drake Hogestyn, actor (“Days of our Lives”)
  • Eddie Mills, actor 
  • Eileen Davidson, actor and reality star (“The Young and the Restless”)
  • Erika Jayne, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” 
  • Erika Slezak, actor (“One Life to Live”)
  • Finola Hughes, actor (“General Hospital”)
  • Genie Francis, actor (“General Hospital”)
  • Greg Vaughan, actor (“Days of our Lives”)
  • James Harmon Brown, writer 
  • Jill Farren Phelps, executive producer (“Another World,” et. al)
  • John Aniston, actor (“Days of our Lives”)
  • John McCook, actor (“The Bold and the Beautiful”)
  • John Stamos, actor (“General Hospital”)
  • Jon Hamm, actor 
  • Jonathan Murray, executive producer 
  • Joyce Becker, co-founder of Soap Opera Festivals Inc. 
  • Kate Coyne, editorial director, entertainment, PEOPLE 
  • Ken Olin, executive producer 
  • Krista Smith, consultant 
  • Laura Wright, actor (“General Hospital”)
  • Lorraine Broderick, head writer (“All My Children,” et. al)
  • Marc Anthony Samuel, actor (“General Hospital”)
  • Marc Cherry, creator 
  • Mark Teschner, casting director (“General Hospital”)
  • Mary Crosby, actor 
  • Maurice Benard, actor (“General Hospital”)
  • Melody Thomas Scott, actor (“The Young and the Restless”)
  • Shelly Altman, head writer (“General Hospital,” et. al) 
  • Susan Lucci, actor (“All My Children”)
  • Susan Sullivan, actor 
  • Vivica A. Fox, actor (“The Young and the Restless”)
  • Yhane Smith, creator of “Harlem Queen”

The special airs on Tuesday, May 19 at 8:00 p.m. EDT/PDT on ABC.