Deep Soap: Awards And Accolades


Y&R Writers Bring Home The Pointy, Heavy Statues

Congratulations to The Young & The Restless’s writing team for winning the Writers Guild of America Award for Daytime Serial. The other nominated shows were All My Children, As The World Turns and One Life To Live. The WGA awards are judged differently from the Daytime Emmys.  A panel of judges reads the scripts for the three submitted episodes.  The shows are judged solely on the words on the page, not the acting or direction.  Selecting the right combination of episodes is difficult, especially since the judges may not be regular viewers of daytime. The Y&R team chose Chloe and Billy’s wedding (April 3, 2009),  the episode that Marge narrated when her body was exhumed (March 26, 2009), and the episode where Colleen has visions of her loved ones visiting her as she drowns (September 16, 2009).   Those were very savvy choices.  Marge’s exhumation featured a narration that explained what was going on for judges who might not be familiar with the show. Colleen’s drowning was equally easy to follow.  Billy and Chloe’s wedding had a lot of great dialogue.  The winners are:  Amanda L. Beall, Tom Casiello, Lisa Connor, Janice Ferri Esser, Eric Freiwald, Jay Gibson, Scott Hamner, Marla Kanelos, Beth Milstein, Natalie Minardi Slater, Melissa Salmons, Linda Schreiber, James Stanley, Sandra Weintraub, Teresa Zimmerman.  If you’re wondering why headwriters Maria Bell and Hogan Sheffer are not on the list, it’s  because they have financial core status with the guild, making them ineligible for WGA awards.  Well played and well deserved, Y&R.

Days of Our Lives Succeeds By Appealing to Women of a Certain Age

Days of Our Lives also has reason to celebrate.   The show averaged 3.3. million total viewers, it’s largest audience, in over three years, for the week of February 8-12.  That’s the week before the Olympics reminded the world of NBC’s continued existence.  Interestingly, the show that rose to the top in the 1990s by appealing to younger viewers, is appealing to a more mature demographic this time.  The week that saw Carly trying to stop Vivian from killing Melanie at her wedding drew the highest ratings among Women 55+ (3.3/11) in over four years.  The younger demos, while relatively strong, were nowhere near record breaking.  Season-to-date, DOOL is up a whopping 20% in Women 55+, compared to a still impressive +10% increase in Households and +7% in Women 25-54.  In contrast, season-to-date the show is down -9% in Women 18-34 and float in the coveted Women 18-49 demographic.  The soccer Momming of DOOL makes a certain amount of sense.  Everyone who loved Vivian and Carly during the early 1990s and tuned back in for their return, has gotten older.   Unfortunately, older viewers are considered less desirable since advertisers want to reach young people.  However, Y&R’s ratings dominance in total viewers is due in large part to its following among the AARP set.  Since everyone seems to pick up the soap habit from their parents, it’s a good longterm growth strategy.  Creatively, I think it means the show is doing a good job of appealing to its long time fans. I have read numerous message board postings about how DOOL is better than it has been in years and truly seems like it is getting back to its roots.  If DOOL has succeeded in getting lapsed old-school viewers to return to the fold, I hope the writers and producers realize that is the highest praise they could possibly receive.

Mobster versus Stripper

Daytime Confidential is reporting that One Life To Live’s Amanda Setton (Kim) has quit the show so that she can move to Los Angeles to pursue work in primetime.  The popular newcomer originally joined for a short term stint as Stacy’s sidekick before her talent and beauty inspired the writers to give her a larger storyline as Clint’s gold digging new love interest.  She reportedly turned down a longterm contract.  Setton already has significant primetime credits, playing Blair’s minion Penelope on fifteen episodes of Gossip Girl.  Though she will be missed on OLTL, her desire to reach for the brass ring of pilot season is understandable.  Setton’s impending departure got me thinking about why I like the utterly immoral Kim yet am ready to jump through my TV screen and take a swing at General Hospital’s Sonny Corinthos.

The answer is that Kim does not pretend to be anything that she is not.  Nor does she blame others for her shortcomings.  She owns the fact that she is an opportunistic skank.   She openly admits she is more interested in Clint’s bank account than his personality.  Kim’s sole redeeming quality is her true sisterly love for Stacy.  She does not blame her lousy upbringing for her decision to become a stripper.  Granted, Kim has never shot a cop, though she has certainly verbally abused poor Fish. In contrast, Sonny spent Friday’s episode telling Olivia that it was all her fault that he shot Dante and whining that he was deprived of the opportunity to raise his child.  If he owned up to living a lifestyle that would cause a woman to keep his child away from him, I would feel some sympathy for him.  It’s not like this is a new concept for him.  Alexis has limited his contact with Kristina for the same reason.  If he realized that the parents of every person that he shot were going through the same anguish he was and started reexamining his choices, I would feel bad for him.  Heck, if he had the epiphany that callously dumping a fifteen year old girl for her cousin might not inspire her to be honest with him, I could empathize.

I imagine that Kim, having undoubtedly encountered plenty of organized crime types during her years in Vegas, would tell Sonny to stop throwing himself a pity party.  Accept that he is a lousy father, that Dante grew up to be a great person without him, and that if he wants to have a relationship with him now he’d better start making some real changes in his life.  Otherwise, keep on thuggin’ and forget about Dante. Then she’d offer him a lap dance because she needs a new pair of designer boots.  With Setton heading to L.A., maybe Kim can stop off in Port Charles and deliver a reality check.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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