Veteran Actors Getting Front Burner Stories - AMC

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Vets & newbies together on AMC & Is Dixie coming back?

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Dear Suds Buds,

For as long as I have been working in the soap opera industry, I have heard fans bemoan the fact that often times their favorite daytime veterans are relegated to back burner stories to make way for new, younger actors.  Unfortunately, that is one of the trickier aspects of writing the genre.  Veteran actors have fan followings and TV Q.  (TV Q means that they are easily recognizable to TV audiences.  Some daytime actors have extremely high TV Qs.)  But all soaps need new blood to attract younger audiences, which will in turn become the audiences and veterans of tomorrow. Writers must walk a fine line to create story that introduces and nurtures newbies, while staying true to telling story that involves veteran characters.

Right now on All My Children, I am happy to say that one of my all time favorite veteran actors, Michael E. Knight (Tad), finally has a bit of a storyline to sink his teeth into, and that very same storyline also includes the younger sect.  It’s almost the perfect mix of veteran actor with a solid fan base and TV Q, and the newer, younger breed that is rapidly developing a fan base and TV Q.  Not only that, this particular storyline is causing two long time foes, David (Vincent Irizarry) and Tad (Michael E. Knight) as shown above to work together in an effort to protect and assist their children, Jamie (Justin Bruenig) and Babe (Alexa Havins).  It’s nice to see AMC veterans like Brooke (Julia Barr), David (Vincent Irizarry) and Tad (Michael E. Knight) directly involved in the storyline. 

Tad now has a few stories to juggle.  His son Jamie’s plight with Babe and the baby, and his growing love and attraction to Babe’s mother, Krystal (Bobbie Eakes). 

Likewise nice to see Tad with an intriguing love interest.  And it’s about time.  Ever since Tad’s “together forever” love, Dixie (Cady McClain), was supposedly killed, along with their unborn baby, in a car accident in Europe – (“supposedly” translating to “no body was ever found”), poor Tad has been chewing the scenery (as his portrayer Michael E. Knight could be known to quip) with no direction and no story. Now the character is front burner in the baby switch storyline, overcoming years of conflict with David to work together for the good of their children, and has a love interest in Krystal.  Love it. 

But let’s look at the traditional soap devices.  No sooner is one character happy and pursuing a love interest, when a former love interest returns to stir things up.  Could Dixie be returning?  Okay, this is pure speculation on my part, but hey!  It’s been known to happen time and again in soaps. 

Here’s the argument for it in this case:

1) Tad has finally let go of mourning over Dixie’s death.
2) Tad has a new love interest.
3) Dixie’s son with Adam, JR, is in desperate need of his mother’s guidance.
4) According to one of Soapdom’s contributors, GC, the show is rumored to be casting for a new female character who will try to get close to JR, but has sparks with Tad.

I have to admit that it was GC that put this bug in my head (see her comments in Soapdom’s Suds Buzz), but it is certainly plausible. Could this new character be the return of Dixie?  Question is would fans accept a new actress in the role?  Or would ABC try to entice Cady McClain (currently Rosanna on ATWT, but the originator of the role of Dixie on AMC), back to All My Children? 

Regardless, it’s good to see the AMC vets getting a chance at some front burner story.  Are your favorite vets getting enough air time on your favorite soap?  Tell me your thoughts on the Criticize the Critic boards.

Til the top of next week,

Linda Marshall-Smith
CEO, Soapdom, Inc.

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