Ever since AS THE WORLD TURNS was canceled I have speculated that head writer Jean Passanante would end up back at ONE LIFE TO LIVE. ABC now confirms the move is happening. Dartmouth grad Passanante will join the OLTL writing team as an associate head writer once ATWT ceases production. ATWT is celebrating 54 years on the air today. Ron Carlivati remains head writer.
Passanante was associate head writer for OLTL from 1993 to 1996 and co-head writer from 1996 to 1997. She later wrote for ANOTHER WORLD and ALL MY CHILDREN before moving on to ATWT.
Fans are already lamenting the fact that, once again, a daytime soap has rushed to snap up a writer from a canceled soap. With ratings holding steady or in decline in most daytime shows, the networks seem to be hiring people with many years experience in the industry (good or bad) versus seeking out new blood who might reinvorate the genre.
The indie soap world is filled with dozens of talented writers that don't seem to have a shot on these broadcast television soaps. Cheryl L. West, Martha Byrne & Lisa Brown, Greg Turner & Brian Hewson, Susan Miller & Tina Cesa Ward. Charles Van Eman & Mike Stiles, Anthony Anderson and others instantly come to mind when I think about writers that might have a chance to improve the daytime soaps. But in the end, staying in the indie world, a true writer's medium minus network interference and focus groups,may be the best thing for this talented bunch. There are constant rumors about the lack of power a daytime head writer has anyway.
When there is an opening on the writing staff of any daytime soap, I hope minority candidates are being considered. It's great to go with the familiar, and even understandable to a degree, but many voices are not being represented on our beloved soaps.
What do you think about Jean Passante's return to ONE LIFE TO LIVE? Will it help the show bringing back someone from the past? Were you hoping for some fresh blood on the writing team? Does a writer for a daytime soap even have a chance to tell his/her own stories?