Hi Suds Buds!
The elite of the soap opera industry came out in force on Friday, March 10th for the 16th Annual Soap Opera Awards hosted by Soap Opera Digest Magazine. As we have extensive coverage on the Awards show elsewhere at Turtle-Run, I will only comment on the elements that stood out for me. In other words, the Good, the Great and the "Could Use Improvement!"
The opening sequence with Josh Ryan Evans and Juliet Mills (Timmy and Tabitha, Passions) was a streak of creative genius. Great fun. Darlene Conley (Sally, B&B) could easily be christened "The Mae West of Soaps!" She was delightful, both in the flashback sequence with Fabio and in the SOD cover segment. Gees, SOD. Give her a cover!
John O'Hurley may be best known as Seinfeld's adventurous entrepreneur, Mr. Peterman, but his presenting of the Favorite Villian category was a hoot. It was obvious that everyone was having fun. Maybe Scott Reeves (Ryan, Y&R) was celebrating a tad too much, as evidenced by his turn at the podium with cast members Heather Tom (Victoria, Y&R) and Kristoff St. John (Neil, Y&R). It was a good thing they were there. He needed the "support," if you catch my drift.
The flashback segment of Carol Burnett and Susan Lucci was a treat! What year was that? Didn't we have such big hair and interesting attire back then? LOL
As the magazine saluted the lost soaps, Sunset Beach and Another World, seeing Linda Dano's reaction to clips of her life over the past so many years was a touching moment. Even as she is now well ensconced on the ABC Daytime line up, her tears reflected a well of emotion and memories of a time gone by and a character she misses playing.
Producing an awards show is a massive undertaking. Executive Producer Al Schwartz and everyone at dick clark productions, inc. made miracles as always. I won't go into the production process here, except to say that with the myriad logistics involved, sometimes something may fall between the cracks. In the case of the Soap Opera Awards, it happened in the Favorite Scene Stealer category, when the names of Patti D'Arbanville (Selena, GH) and Leslie Kay (Molly, ATWT) were inadvertently attributed to the wrong clips. Patti didn't miss a beat of her on-camera time, however, sending her love out over the airwaves to someone special.
This year the affair was held at the Hollywood Palladium, a much smaller venue than last year's Universal Amphitheater. Fans were not permitted, as space was at a premium. This was unfortunate, as the fans vote for the winners. Without them, there was a void. Several of the winners thanked everyone and their evil twin--producers, writers, fellow cast members, agents, family -- but forgot to thank the fans! Many did say a big thank you to the fans, but without the applause and enthusiasm that had in the past accompanied those comments, there was something missing for me.
Perhaps hosting the show at a smaller venue and not allowing fans this year was a move on the part of the producers to eliminate the roar of the cheering crowd, and position the show as a more sophisticated industry event? Or maybe it was a budget consideration. Smaller venue, less money?
Also missing were the throngs of fans outside the Palladium. There were a total of 10 to 20 tops, which was disappointing. One General Hospital fan, who was there to root for Sarah Brown (Carly, GH), traveled from Philadelphia to be at the Palladium.
"Why come all this way," I asked, "when you couldn't get tickets for the show?" "We called about four weeks ago, and were told tickets would be available soon and to check back," she explained. "We booked the flight and made arrangements on where to stay, but when I called again about tickets, they said there were no tickets available for fans this year. Since I had the plane reservations, I came anyway!"
That's one loyal Carly fan! But where were all the other fans? With the industry elite all gathering in one place on one night, why weren't there hundreds, thousands out to greet them and catch a glimpse?
Could it be that publicity for this affair was at a minimum? Soap Opera Digest had a tight control on the release of information. Not the most productive strategy, especially at a time when the genre needs all the promotion and exposure it can get. To host an event such as an awards show, yet be very restrictive as to who is allowed to cover it, or promote it, seems to be defeatist thinking. Especially in this day and age when entertainment choices abound.
Case in point: A list of presenters was never released. I submit that SOD editors take the hint from the king of Awards shows, the Academy Awards. They begin promoting the host and each and every presenter as soon as they sign on, months before show time. It's called hype, and is designed to build interest. Did you know that Soap Opera Weekly and Soaps In Depth were not allowed press credentials to cover this event? That's like saying the television networks can't cover the Oscars because the Oscars are about the film industry and film competes with television. Excuse me? What archaic thinking is this? Hello???
I discussed this at length with the owner of the Public Relations firm hired by SOD to disseminate the press info and credentials and control who was "allowed" to cover the event. He accused me of being naive. Maybe so, but I must disagree. It's Marketing 101. Obviously someone somewhere in the upper echelon of this event decided not to major in Marketing.
I also think the NBC network would disagree, as they would want to win the night in ratings. It will be interesting to see just how well the show performed ratings-wise. If it did poorly, we will know why. If it did well, it could have done much better. In this day and age of emerging media and technology, the stodgy practices of the past no longer apply. It's a new century that requires new business models. Perhaps it's time to reevaluate.
As Darlene, a Turtle-Run poster commented on the TRO AMC Message Board, "With the future of soaps seeming to be a little uncertain, I am always sorry when this type of award show doesn't do more to promote soaps in general. Last night's show did nothing to improve the image of daytime TV, in my opinion. I hope the Daytime Emmys will do better."
What did you think of the show? Share your thoughts on the TRO Message Boards.
All in all, it was a fun night for soapdom. Post show gatherings found stars from all the soaps partying into the wee hours. Proctor & Gamble hosted a party at Spago for GL and ATWT. NBC's Passions and DOOL partied at the Hollywood Athletic Club and stars from all the shows crashed! CBS did not have an official party.
TRO's StarDay with Lindsay Korman
We had so much fun getting to know and working with Lindsay Korman (Theresa, Passions). She is a sweetheart, and very brave to put up with us on Soap Opera Awards day when she was a nominee. Although she did not take home the statue this time, receiving the nod of a nomination means she has made an impact, and people have taken notice of her work. Many thanks to Lindsay for opening up her life to us. Stay tuned to TRO this week as we upload our StarDay with Lindsay coverage.
SOAP NEWS AND NOTESPassions will be pre-empted in the NY area market on Friday, March 17 in light of the St. Patrick's Day parade. NBC will air Passions overnight at 3:35 AM EST. This is only in New York area.
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