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Jean Passanante: We're Not Slowing Down

Soap Opera Digest published a quote from AS THE WORLD TURNS co-head writer Jean Passanante on Monday.

I don't know how things are going to change yet or what we're going to do but I will say that our plan is to continue telling great story. We're not slowing that down.

This quote, coupled with executive producer Chris Goutman's quote to TV Guide Magazine, is a bit troubling.

We still have exciting stories in the works and we’re sticking to them. We’re not ready to start inviting back old favorites and do the nostalgia thing.

By all accounts ATWT is taping ahead by two months. They are taping scenes set to air in February already. While the show has improved lately, there is still quite a bit of ridiculousness in the form of Tom Pelphrey's Mick Dante character. Despite what Passanante and Goutman think, now is absolutely the time to take a step back, reassess the canvas, figure out the best way to end this show and begin doing it right. If there is a story line not tied to the very core of Oakdale and actors that fans care about, it needs to be dropped immediately. Being two months ahead gives ATWT this luxury.

If the show is racing toward a June production finish, three months prior to the final episode, that does not bode well for fans. I personally do want actors to return, boatloads of nostalgia and I'll happily accept an abrupt conclusion to stories that do not involve the Hughes family or other longtime favorites. Not "slowing down" and evaluating what fans want over the past few years has definitely contributed to its demise. This has started to slowly change the past few months but the show is nowhere near its true potential. And if any soaps needs to go out on top of its game, it's the soap that was number one in the ratings for 20 years.

Perhaps Goutman and Passanante have sincere hope the show will be picked up elsewhere and that is the basis for their comments. But even so, a real evaluation of what this show is about, where it should go and what it might look like on another network must be figured out. I hope this is all determined very soon. If ATWT is definitely going to end, it really needs to end right and that doesn't mean a few returns and clips the last week. It means several months of solid story, new romances for Lisa and Barbara, Bob and Kim front and center, the return of Martha Byrne, Liz Hubbard in all her glory, and actually seeing Tom Hughes more than once a month. Time will tell which direction the show will choose to go and how satisfying that conclusion will be.

7 comments:

  1. I agree with your comments 100%, Roger. I'm hoping that ATWT brings back many characters from the past and gives Bob, Kim, Lisa and Lucinda some great storylines. Bring back John Dixon! Bring back Betsy and Frannie! And Cricket Montgomery--okay, maybe not Cricket, but I always liked her name.

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  2. Don't you think Brad Bell's comments tell the tale? The "slowing down" and "showing favorites" costs money. And it sounds like -- above and beyond the CBS decision -- P&G is not willing to sink an EXTRA DIME into this. At the core, it seems to me like the long-stated rumors that P&G wants to get out of this part of the business are true...and their financial model has dictated much of what many longtime viewers probably objected to.

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  3. ATWT just brought back several vets for the Never Surrender tour. Most had meaty roles. I think that ATWT can follow that and GL's lead in weaving returning castmates into the show for a departure.

    In retrospect, GL's closing months of episodes were a mess. The Edmund murder mystery and Mallett's investigation were plot driven messes that were highly illogical and wasted valuable time.

    I think ATWT could easily learn from that.

    Here's to the slim chance that Lifetime picks up the show.

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  4. I've always felt that P&G should have cut Guiding Light and ATWT to half-hours and pared the shows down to the core families that viewers want to see. I agree with Deep Dish that they should never have let John Dixon go. Definitely bring back Frannie. Julianne Moore still loves the show, maybe she'd be willing to do it! Let's see Katie's mom Lyla, who should be here comforting her daughter through her grief. Bring back Iva and MJ.

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  5. Even if there isn't the funds available to bring back some old favorites for even guest appearances (although I still feel that Penny and Don Hughes and even John Dixon should be there at the end), then for goodness sake, please USE your existing vets, Chris! Utilize as much of Kim, Bob, Lisa, and even Nancy as time allows. Despite some of P&G's statements about trying to find a new home, Brad Bell seems to have told the real story. Therefore, I would be The Powers That Be (Jean, Chris, and even Babs Bloom) to please start planning for the end, and not have a clusterf-bomb of a last few weeks that GL did.

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  6. We should just stop watching now. That interview just shows how myopic, out of touch and absolutely clueless Goutman and Passanante are. We're f*cked.

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  7. Mick Dante is interesting to me and I for one think it is a GREAT idea that ATWT is *not* switching gears yet.

    They need to be future-oriented show, not giving up and bringing people in for cameos, in order to get picked up somewhere.

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