Deep Soap: Have the Daytime Emmys Found a New Home?

(Ethan Miller, Getty Images)

Daytime Emmys May Air on HLN

The Daytime Emmys may air on TV after all. Broadcast & Cable reports that the National Academy of Arts and Sciences is in negotiations with cable channel HLN (AKA headline news) to broadcast the awards show, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday June 23. AOL is also in the running to be the social networking partner of the Daytime Emmys.  The announcement of the nominees, which were scheduled for today, Friday May 4, has been postponed to Wednesday, May 9, in the hope that the Academy will be able to publicize the HLN deal at the same time as the nominations.

This is potentially great news. Not only will fans get to watch the show on a widely available cable channel, but the scaled down, Beverly Hills based awards ceremony should be a lot classier and focused on actually honoring the best in daytime programming instead of the tawdry infommercials for Las Vegas that have aired for the past two years. It is unfortunate that none of the broadcast networks are interested in giving up their Saturday night line up of reruns for a new awards show, but given the low ratings for the past few telecasts, it’s understandable. On Saturday April 28, only 391,000 people tuned into HLN’s primetime line-up, so the Daytime Emmys may actually provide a ratings boost to the network.

This is the last year that “All My Children” will be eligible to win Daytime Emmys, and, given that  “One Life to Live” only aired for two weeks in 2012, it may be the last chance for OLTL to be honored, so it has the potential to be a sentimental, emotional evening. Kudos to the Academy for going the extra mile to secure a television home for the Daytime Emmys, and to HLN for being willing to air a show that may seem an odd fit for a news network.

Casting News

Maybe the third time will be the charm. TV Guide reports that three time Daytime Emmy winner Jennifer Landon, who played Gwen on “As the World Turns”, will take on the role of Heather on ‘The Young & the Restless” previously played by Eden Riegel and Vail Bloom. Landon will first appear on the June 7 episode. Heather left Genoa City in disgrace after tabloid photos of her kissing her ex, Adam (Michael Muhney) got her fired from her job as an assistant District Attorney. Heather’s Dad Paul (Doug Davidson) is going to be front and center this summer when evidence surfaces that Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) attempted to kill him in a hit and run accident years ago. Will Heather be the one who makes sure Phyllis pays for her crime? Will she reunite with the reformed Adam? Stay tuned.

Soap Opera Digest reports that Peter Reckell is telling his castmates that he is  leaving “Days of Our Lives” after being asked to take a salary cut. Reckell agreed to a substantial decrease in his salary a couple years ago. A DOOL spokesperson told the magazine that the show does not comment on ongoing contract negotiations but, “We hope that Peter stays with Days of Our Lives.” When Reckell left the show during the 1990s, Robert Kelker Kelly assumed the role. There is no word yet on whether the show plans to recast or write off one of its most popular characters if a last minute agreement is not reached.

“The Young & the Restless” is in Creative Trouble

The Young & the Restless” needs an intervention. The highest rated daytime soap has been in a protracted downward spiral. Each episode I wait for a storyline or even a scene that will engage me. What’s even more frustrating is that there are some potentially interesting plots, but they are paced so poorly, with all of the important beats missing, that they have no emotional impact. I was thrilled when I read that Jack (Peter Bergman) and Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) would be getting back together. They were a great couple the first time they got together. There seemed like a parallel between the back problems that Nikki was struggling with when they were married and Jack’s paralysis. It seemed like the recipe for a beautiful love story, as Nikki helped Jack realize that he was still desirable despite his injury and help him adjust to the changes in his life until, being that this is a soap, he miraculously regains the ability to walk again. Instead of watching a friendship bloom into romance, Jack and Nikki hooked up one night in Vegas and, bam, instant relationship. Though the soap paralysis storyline has been done to death, Bergman could have made Jack’s struggles interesting. Instead, after a couple episodes of depression, Jack seemed to instantly adjust to his new life. Yes, he is struggling through physical therapy, and considered an experimental medical procedure, but he mastered the use of a wheelchair off camera, has had no issues with people treating him differently, or being unable to do things he used to enjoy. Instead, he’s been embroiled in a dull business storyline,with his paralysis seemingly nearly forgotten by the writers. Though their relationship is only a couple weeks old, Jack and Nikki already have an obstacle in Jack’s disapproving, newly adult son Kyle (Blake Hood) who has already established himself as jerk in my eyes for his utter lack of concern for his father’s medical problems. Hey, Kyle, how about a little love for the guy who sent you to a fancy hockey boarding school that enabled you to age fifteen years in a couple months?

Nick deciding to remarry Phyllis just weeks after he seemed headed for a reconciliation with Sharon is yet another example of Y&R’s whiplash inducing storytelling. If this had happened over the course of a year, I would be on the edge of my seat. This fast, I can only shrug. Who cares about the end of a weeks old flirtation? I hope that the show gets it together soon. With only four soaps left, daytime needs its flagship show to be at its best.

Watch the Latest Episode of “Y&R”:

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

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