Friday, September 9, 2011

COUNTDOWN: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History (10-6)

Was it O.J. Simpson, women in the workplace, Reality TV, or did the soaps kill themselves with one bad decision after another? You decide. Our countdown of the 25 Biggest Blunders in Daytime Soap Opera History continues with blunders number 10-6.

10. Making Jill the daughter of Katherine Chancellor on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

Not every soap opera story is a home run. Sometimes they can be boring or even bad. But sometimes they are just wrong.

The Foster and Brooks families were the original core families of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS when it launched in 1973. The Foster matriarch, Liz, played by Julianna McCarthy, was loving and protective but firm with her children. None needed more direction than Jill, who was always looking for "more" out of life. Their relationship grew and changed over and years and McCarthy and Brenda Dickson were pitch perfect as mother and "daughter".

Jill's bitter feud with Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) began when Jill bedded Kay's husband, Phillip II. Jill became pregnant with his baby (Phillip III), but was bitterly left out in the cold when Phillip II died in a car crash with Kay driving. The two women started fighting and found one reason after another to keep it going as the years passed.

When Dickson returned to the soap after a few years away in the 1980s, Jill was different. Big hair and shoulder pads and glam replaced the Jill of old, but we still loved her bitter rivalry with Mrs. Chancellor, and Liz Foster would visit to help keep her in line.

It was a tough assignment for Jess Walton to step into the role of Jill in 1987 but she quickly won rave reviews (and Emmys) and the never-ending angst between Jill and Kay continued.

In 2003, written by co-head writers Kay Alden (who had been on Bill Bell's Y&R writing team for nearly 30 years) and Jack Smith (who had been with the show for 20 years), everything changed. Liz, diagnosed with a brain tumor, returned to Genoa City and revealed that Jill wasn't really a Foster after all, she was Katherine's daughter. WHAT?! It was a complete slap in the face to longtime Y&R fans who had invested in these relationships for three decades. The twist made absolutely no sense, and forever changed the Jill-Kay dynamic. The show basically told fans of the Foster family they didn't matter. And we loved them all, especially the Liz and Jill relationship.

This wasn't the end of the destruction though. There were a few years wasted on Cane being the "real" Phillip III, Phillip III returning from the dead after 20 years revealing he was gay, and finding out Cane wasn't related at all.

Then in 2010 Liz Foster returned again. Maria Arena Bell was producing and writing the show by this point and had undone some of the damage done by the previous regime, so surely she would fix the Jill-Kay-Liz rewrite. No such luck. She may have made it worse. It turned out Jill wasn't Katherine's daughter after all, or Liz's. She was the daughter of Lauren Fenmore's father, Neil. Ridiculous! Then Liz died. At least we got a full Foster family reunion but that didn't make up for this humongous blunder.

All of these rewrites have damaged the Jill character and only incredible performances by Jess Walton and her cast mates have made it work on any level. Why did multiple Y&R producers and writers continue to destroy decades of soap opera history? Especially those who really knew the show and worked so long with Bill Bell. The late Mr. Bell's brilliant work did not need rewriting.

9. Hiring Brian Frons to run ABC Daytime and SOAPnet

In the official bio for Brian Frons at, what is the first television show mentioned? THE CHEW. Need we say more? Oh, we will anyway.

Frons began his career as the Grim Reaper of Daytime Dramas way back in 1982, when he recommended the cancellation of SEARCH FOR TOMORROW. It had been on the air for 31 years at the time.

SEARCH was a strong, respected property with excellent brand recognition and millions of loyal fans, so it wasn't a surprise when NBC actually jumped at the opportunity to rescue SEARCH. They began airing where CBS left off, and fans rejoiced--but you can't cheat death. Believe it or not, Frons actually followed SEARCH to NBC in the '80s, where he canceled it again in 1986!

When Disney hired Brian Frons as ABC Daytime president in August 2002, ABC's four daytime soap operas--GENERAL HOSPITAL, ALL MY CHILDREN, PORT CHARLES and ONE LIFE TO LIVE--must have felt chills run down their spines. But first—what is the deal with him and SOAPnet?

In 2006, Frons was promoted to president of daytime for Disney-ABC Television Group, and SOAPnet fell into his hands as well. It wasn't all bad. GH spinoff GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT still managed a successful two season run on SOAPnet. Also, the channel enjoyed record primetime ratings--for same-day encore airings of AMC and OLTL. And that's where the positives end. Because aside from the daytime repeats, SOAPnet lost its way. Sunday nights were especially misguided, programmed with tired movies that had been repeated for years on other cable networks--there wasn't even some sort of soap opera theme. Then, the name "SOAPnet" was almost changed altogether to reflect a “new direction.” He can't even handle the word, “Soap?”

Meanwhile, at ABC Daytime, the soaps began to die. PORT CHARLES was first. It was canceled a just over a year after Frons took over. The remaining three daytime soaps continued to be slowly, methodically, and painfully executed by Frons. He served as a Creative or Story Consultant for all three. It made sense for a network exec to be involved, but the level of interference in story telling, casting decisions, and head writer and producer changes (ie, Chuck Pratt) was unprecedented. Ratings, the soaps' vital signs, continued to fade.

In April 2011, Frons deep-sixed OLTL and AMC. They had aired on the network for over 40 years. Like SEARCH, they were both strong, respected properties with excellent brand recognition and millions of loyal fans. Frons told them he knew better. "We are taking this bold step to expand our business, because viewers are looking for different types of programming these days,” he BS'd. How do we know it was BS? Just five months earlier, Frons had proclaimed that ABC supported soaps, saying the network was "still dedicated to ours. We're very proud of them and have big plans for the future."

Moreover, in an act that reminds us of NBC's rescue of SEARCH, production company Prospect Park eagerly snatched up both OLTL and AMC. Even though they didn't even have a channel on which to air them, PP recognized real value where Frons only saw a target.

Fans were outraged over the news, but Frons claimed that ABC needed new shows that were “relatable." If AMC and OLTL had become unrelatable, it was due to years of hands-on creative mismanagement by Frons!

There are so many published stories out there, citing so many respected people, telling how venal, insensitive, and Machiavellian Frons has behaved since the cancellation. These anecdotes describe a man that (is it possible?) publicly enjoys killing soap operas. We choose to end with the following two sources for symbolic reasons.

1. AMC legend Susan Lucci felt a moral imperative to publicize Frons's sinister behavior by issuing a new epilogue for her memoir. The classiest woman in show business has never spoken ill about anyone in this manner, saying Frons appeared “self-congratulatory” delivering the bad news to the cast, and he “has what, for me, is that fatal combination of ignorance and arrogance,” adding, “I cannot fathom any network executive choosing to alienate millions of loyal viewers in these economic times.”

2. Even OLTL's Erika Slezak had to speak out against Frons: in the current issue of Mental Floss magazine, she sums it all up, saying "I think that Brian Frons, the head of ABC Daytime, doesn’t believe in the genre. He never believed they could last. My biggest objection is ABC saying people don’t want entertainment anymore; they want information. That’s ridiculous. People always want entertainment."

8. Lack of Diversity on Daytime Television

Daytime soaps didn't start with huge budgets but their focus on good storytelling drew fans in and the shows became cash cows for the networks. Pioneers like Agnes Nixon told socially relevant stories on daytime television before many of her primetime counterparts.

Bert's uterine cancer story on THE GUIDING LIGHT, HIV and AIDS storylines, and creating the first African-American super couple Angie and Jessie on AMC (who are still going strong to this day) were just a few example of soaps not only educating but expanding their horizons.

But somewhere along the line, soaps stopped taking chances, stopped being socially relevant and the cast of most shows became more white-washed than ever. Melissa Reeves of DAYS recently told We Love Soaps, "I love Los Angeles and I love that our kids have grown up here, for the diversity of it. Our kids don’t see race and color, they weren't raised that way. That’s what I love about Los Angeles." She was obviously talking about the real Los Angeles and not the L.A. that is portrayed on THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. The lack of a major gay character or strong leading African-American, Hispanic or Asian characters during the show's run is unrealistic and insulting. B&B has won the Outstanding Drama Series Award for three years in a row at the Daytime Emmys. And this year, they won it with a homeless storyline. But how many potential viewers is the show missing out on with its lack of a more diverse canvas?

These days soaps seem to be written for "Middle America," and the writers perceive these people as racist, homophobic and not very bright. They are wrong.

Following the overwhelming success of Angie and Jesse on AMC, how many other major African-American super couples have soaps seen over the past two decades? GENERATIONS was a great idea but never given a real chance by NBC. Other that that, not so many. THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS had a wonderful minority cast in the 1990s but in 2011 the stories for these characters are thin at best. AS THE WORLD TURNS had a strong black cast in the early 2000s but quickly made Lamman Rucker's Marshall character a rapist which pretty much ended story for all of them.

If we tune into shows geared toward younger viewers like DEGRASSI or GLEE, the casts are extremely diverse. Daytime claims to want younger viewers but prefers to try to emulate primetime's explosion quota more than its diversity (primetime doesn't get a pass but it's certainly further along than daytime).

Gay characters and couples have been introduced here and there in recent years with stories told at a snail's pace. ONE LIFE TO LIVE actually blamed their gay storyline (Kyle and Fish) for a ratings decline when they had a father tried to rape and impregnate his own daughter (Mitch and Jessica) at the same time. And they thought the gays were more offensive?

Minorities make up a significant portion of the daytime audience but are not represented on daytime soaps in a significant way. With AMC leaving ABC on September 23, the fall looks even worse.

Former Y&R star Victoria Rowell has spoken a lot about the lack of diversity in front of the camera and behind. Sometimes the message got lost in the delivery but the truth behind it is real. Would more minority viewers of all races and sexual orientations tune in if they were represented in a greater way on daytime soaps? And would this segment of the population be just enough to keep the shows alive? It would be nice if a soap tried to find out.

7. Reliance on Soap Cliches

Characters have been coming back from the dead on soaps since the beginning. Other soap cliches like switching paternity results, out of the blue doppelgangers and twins, and drunken one night stands leading to a pregnancy have also dominated soap storylines for ages. But in the past few years, soaps have done very little but use one cliche after another pretty much full-time in stories that were mostly boring, predictable and an insult to our intelligence.

Let's take a closer look at back from the dead stories. 40 years ago it was more of an event. A character would return and fans were shocked. Even 25 years go with James Stenbeck's "Hello Barbara" return on AS THE WORLD TURNS, we couldn't believe our eyes. Unfortunately, James died again and came back from the dead over and over and over again. By the end of ATWT's run it not only was a complete joke, whenever James returned, the characters weren't even surprised. DAYS villain Stefano Dimera is another "Phoenix" who has died many times (although DAYS finally has made him a more well-rounded character in recent years). From 2003-2004 they killed off ten characters who all turned up very much alive on an island.

This summer ALL MY CHILDREN has brought multiple characters back from the dead. We can forgive them, knowing they were writing an ending, but why have soap writers turned soap deaths into something fans can't even believe anymore. Unless a veteran actor has passed away in real life, we never think a character is really dead. Y&R's Cane and Chance are prime examples from earlier this year. Why bother writing a funeral, and have us watching a lover or spouse mourn when we have no faith the show will actually stick with their own plot for more than a month or two? It's nearly impossible to invest anymore.

Doppelgangers are another annoying trend that have gone overboard in recent years, resulting in viewers changing the channel. DAYS painfully experienced this a few months ago when their ratings hit record lows during the Rafe's twin imposter story.  In the past few years, Y&R has had multiple doppelganger stories with Michelle Stafford, Tracey E. Bregman, Stacy Haiduk and Jeanne Cooper each playing two roles. At one point, there were two at the same time. Unreal! And to get out of the Cane death storyline, Y&R invented a twin. Tired, boring cliche.

There are too many soap cliches to cover and we will probably create a separate list for those (help us name the most annoying ones in the Comments section).

Soap budgets have shrunk, writing staffs have too, but these writers are still paid to do a job, presumably to write good stories. So why is are they relying on overused cliches more than ever? Stop blaming O.J., respect your audience, and don't create any new doppelgangers or bring anyone else back from the dead for the next year.

6. Marlena's Devil Possession on DAYS OF OUR LIVES

During the summer of 1994, the entire nation was transfixed on the trials and tribulations of O.J. Simpson. His infamous car chase and initial trial proceedings were televised live on daytime television, thereby interrupting the soaps and trumping them in the ratings. James E. Reilly, head writer of DAYS OF OUR LIVES assessed the situation, and decided that instead of trying to compete with the real life courtroom antics taking place everyday, that he would spend the next year going in the exact opposite direction, and telling the story of Dr. Marlena Evans' Devil Possession. The strategy worked, as DAYS received much press coverage during this very controversial story, and was the only soap to rise in ratings during O.J.'s trial.

However, what appeared to be a wise business move in the short run ended up costing DAYS, and many other daytime soaps, in the long run. DAYS spent the next ten years trying to replicate its success by telling absurd science-fiction stories, from art dealing doppelgangers, to a virtual Garden of Eden, to Marlena being brainwashed into thinking she killed half the town (don't ask!) to twins falling from outer space, all with declining ratings.

Other shows followed suit resulting in an embarrassing doppelganger story for Rachel on ANOTHER WORLD, a clone for Reva on GUIDING LIGHT, vampires for Lucy to slay on PORT CHARLES, etc. None of these supernatural fantasies seemed to payoff in building loyal followings for the soaps, while shows based (relatively) in reality such as Y&R, B&B, and GH continued to dominate the ratings.

- COUNTDOWN: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History (25-21)
- COUNTDOWN: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History (20-16)
- COUNTDOWN: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History (15-11)

COMING MONDAY: 25 Biggest Blunders In Daytime Soap Opera History (5-1)


  1. I would have disagree with Days. Marlena being possessed moved Days from the bottom and to the #2 spot for over 4 years. Days for the first soap in years to create an outside buzz and new fans. The problem was the copycats (isn't that always the problem) from voodoo on AMC to vampires on AW. Then James Riley leaving to create Passions. But the mid 90's was very exciting time to be a Days fan.

    1. Oh, come on. DOOL’s possession storyline was campy brilliance at its best! I barely even watched DAYS—more of a CBS guy—but it was engaging enough to lure me in as a fan. And the show shot to #2 in the ratings for months, so it couldn’t have been that big of a blunder. When “the beast” was actually shown, it was such a terrible, low-fi sci-fi depiction that I almost fell out of my chair! I mean, sure, it’s far from being the kind of brilliance, that, say, Guiding Light achieved circa 1980-85, but it made you watch.

  2. How many lookalike/twin story lines has there been on Y&R since 2007. Before that I recall one true Twin story line Rick/Blade and one lookalike story line with Katherine and Marge.

    Since 2007 then there has been Jeff/William, Sheila/Phyllis, Emily/Patty, Sheila's sister/Lauren, John Abbott/John's Lookalike, Cane/his twin, Revisiting the Katherine/Marge story line. Am I missing anything other twins or clones.

    I'm sure Victor will have a twin soon.

  3. I could live with Y&R giving Nikki a twin. Hell, how about giving MTS any role at all?

  4. Amen to the remarks about Jill, Kay, and Liz from Y&R. I could not agree more! The decision to make vicious enemies Jill and Kay mother and daughter was a horrific mistake. Neither character has ever recovered from it. This has to be the worst plot decision ever made by Y&R. I'm still trying to figure out what the heck their relationship is now --- friends? enemies? maybe lesbians the way they inanely pine for each other's attention? Then, after suffering through all of that, the writers give us Neal Fenmore as Jill's father (crazy as he was about Jill's age; did he impregnate someone when he was 3?) and both Jill and Kay, who mourned Phillip Jr.'s death for 20 years seem to basically forget about him once they learn he is alive!

    I'm holding out some hope that a writer will realize the grave mistake of all of this ---- A dying Liz confessed to the hospital nurse (the one played by David Hasselhoff's daughter) that she lied about ALL of it and that Liz really was Jill's mother. Liz lied because she was concerned about Jill being alone after her death and wanted Jill to have some family and financial security once Liz had passed.

    The only portion of your comment that I question: Jess Walton as Jill. Walton is a fine actress and well equipped to play a suffering "good" character but has never seemed to me to have a handle on playing bitter, vengeful Jill. Walton comes across as nagging and annoying when Jill has to be anything other than reasonable or suffering. Dickson nailed the part. Two decades later, I vainly long for Dickson to return! As for Walton, I would love to have seen her as Beth Logan on B&B. Walton really would have been perfect in that part and made something of the character.

  5. Jonathan, a lookalike you missed: Carmen and her identical cousin Inez.

  6. I agree with the Marlena Posessed story on the list. This story turned Days into a joke, the show lost credibility within the general audience and within the entertainment industry. IMO it has never recovered, I tuned out when this abomination hit the screens, it was the start of the end.

  7. Brian Frons Cancelled All My Children and One Life To Live in April 2011. You had said that he did that in April 2010. I know that it was 2011 because Lorraine Broderick had something like around 4 Months to try to get the Ratings up to hope they would have Changed Their Mind. Of course, He did not Change his Mind. They had Caleb with Erica and Palmer's Memorial in May 2010. Jody

  8. Of all these blunders, Brian Frons seems to be the biggest one of all. His micromanaging, emphasis on young demographics and itchy trigger finger did more to dismantle soaps that anything else. I'm really surprised you placed him as far down the list as you did.

    I'm also reminded that Frons played God in an episode of Santa Barbara -- the one where Mason goes to heaven. I recently rewatched that episode. Needless to say, Frons, who was head of NBC Daytime at that point, was a poor actor.

  9. Barbara, I am a huge Brenda Dickson fan as well. For the purposes of this article, I chose to not get into it and focus on the story of Jill-Kay-Liz, but I still remember younger Jill and different layers the character had that were lost over time.

  10. Convenient Miscarriage. The rate of miscarriage on soaps is astronomically higher than in real life. You can bet a baby won't be born if the parents keep talking about how happy they are or if the pregnancy is keeping apart the couple couple we want together. Soaps never mine the dramatic possibilities of having a baby, raising a child and dealing with a teenager.

  11. M, I completely agree about the miscarriages. That is a cliche that is used way too often. and it has always driven me insane. It's worse when you have two characters pregnant at the same time, and only one baby survives both OLTl (jessica and STarr) and Y&R (Sharon and ashley) have done it in recent years and B&B did it years ago with amber and becky and i know there have been more. And then to add to that cliche, we have the baby died so we'll switch it with another baby so no one will know (jesse and angie are the most recent example of this). and thats not even getting into the cancer stories in just the last year alone Amanda, Lily and Sami have had cancer or cancer scares for ovarian cancer and then there was Stephanie's cancer too. great relevant story but it looses its ooomph if it's done too often imo

  12. IA with Brian Frons is the absolute worse thing to happened to ABC soaps and hiring personnel who tanked other shows.. Also the overuse of soap staples e.g. the triangle, WTD storylines, SORASSing...

  13. I dont know that pointing to a specific incident killed soaps. Like the retcon of Jills backstory IMO was not one of the top 25 biggest blunders in soaps but the constant retconning of characters in general is a blunder and Jill was a perfect example. Add Cane to that list or Sam MCCall on GH and how many characters on AMC I can't count.

  14. Does ROn Carvalati get a knock for this stupid Todd Twin story on OLTL I hope

  15. How about changing a long-standing storyline years later - a la Erica's abortion or Luke having a child with someone other than Laura?

  16. I would have to say that the #1 Soap Blunder is Brian Frons. I don't even know the man but just looking at his photo, you see a smug, self-satisified arrogant jerk who has deliberately and cruelly stifled the creativity of TPTB at AMC and OLTL for years. The only show he ever seemed to like was GH, god only knows why.

  17. I don' get why Frons is not number 1. Forget what he did at ABC and to Soapnet but look at his record at NBC also.

    I hope someone points out Ken Corday and Bradley Bell to along with MAB who people think are carrying on legacies when all they have done is damage the shows even more

  18. PLEASE PLEASE DO MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS! I love the "walks down memory lane"! How about best love triangles, villians, quickest aged kids, couples, best storylines, etc?

  19. Endless doppelganger/lost-lost twin stories are driving me up the wall, too. Another excellent article, Roger & Damon! :-)

  20. Thanks for commenting that Mitch trying to rape and impregnate Jessica surely turned off more viewers than two gay men on OLTL. It infuriated me that all the blame fell on Kish, when the sweeps story of everyone on Llatano Mountain and Mitch frying Jessica's brain wasn't brought up as a major turnoff.

    I'm sick to death of dopplegangers and characters coming back from the dead. I'd say I never want to see a doppleganger again, and they should not bring back any dead characters for at the very least a year.

    And switched DNA tests are another cliche that must fall away. It's tiresome, and makes unplanned pregnancy stories all the more ridiculous, in this day and age.

  21. So, Frons murdered both NBC and ABC Daytime, AND he cancelled SFT on CBS too? Wow, what a piece of s***!!!

  22. as far as soap cliches go... it's not a major one like doppelgangers, back-from-the-dead or WTD storylines, but don't you just hate when after having been in an explosion or whatever, while being unconscious, people always tend to whisper the "wrong" names - meaning not the name of their partner but their ex's name.

  23. Some of the soap cliches you didn't mention that really annoy me are kidnapping stories and spoiled teenagers.

    I get that having a child kidnapped is a parent's worst nightmare, but sheesh, when almost every character on a soap has been kidnapped at least once, it's a bit of an overkill.

    I also get that the teen years are some of the most volatile. But soaps tend to over do this to no end. Tell a story with real teenagers - not just ones who want to kill their stepparent or beat the anger drum to death. When I see this, I just roll my eyes and change channels.

  24. i think the biggestblunder of all times is the hiring and allowing mr fons anywhere near tv and our beloved soaps. any of the execs who were invoved in this should also be gone they ahve brought an end to ahappening that has continued since radio days and should have continued forever many have enjoyed and were still enjopying the viewers were not just females and older people. many ages and genders were involved. i remeber when i worked having discussions re: the storylines and all the ups and downs re: them. i also remeber when i first met my husband's family and his grandmother was discussing a person i questioned him and he told me it was someone on AMC. it surprised me as his grandmother was from another country and didn't speak english too wellbut understood it she would watch many soaps and enjoyed all the trend has followed through and i still have converstaions with members of the family as they have with so many others Why did anyone allow the demise of an enjoyable show.with the rechnology of today also og soapnet i am never missing an episode of any soap i am interested in BRING BACK THIS VENUE. after all nighttime contiung shows is nothing more than a variation of this soaps are not a reperentative of just lonely housewives

  25. soaps are a long time happening from the day of radio. why any execs could allow someone with the likes of frons to bring about the demise of AMC and others is beyond me.the labeling of soaps being just for lonely housewives is a falsedom. many have discussed the soaps at work and at home. i remeber when my husbands grandmother who was from another country, discussing a person and i asked who that might be, i was told that this little old lady watched and enjoyed soaps she would talk for at length of many different ones but especially AMC.the same subject is discussed amongst the grandchildren and great grandchildren forgey about family gatherings the men chime in too. i have found many different walks of life to have enjoyed this venue. i really think the execs that allowed this man to take away our enjoyment too also hit the road. evening shows that have reoccuring characters offer the same type of show but are not put to an end why is that? Bring back soaps as we know it an have satisfied viewers. with soapnet and the technolgy we have today many would continue to watch the demise of AMC was seen a lng time ago with the horrible storylines given to our beloved actor and actresses. i remeber many protesting with the 2nd grade type of writing that was going on .i'm sure the writers did not even put their real names to it as where could they6 go now with such a reference Sad case of affairs i do not wish any ill but i sure do not wish anyone remotely involved with this and exceptional good. once again ABC has managed to dissapoint their viewers and i can not begin to list all the ones who will not support ABC nor it's sponsors but i can if anyone is interested

  26. I love this list. I have watched soaps (CBS) since I was a very young child -- they used to be a little more appropriate for younger audiences -- full of excellent writing and double entendres. I think it was the "Reva clone" and the "thru the portrait" stories that did it for me. I don't mind an occasional ghost coming back and visiting relatives (cuz it could be their imagination or conscience speaking).

    I hated those storylines and each time stopped watching GL until they were over. I would think that writers would be more responsive to viewers -- esp. now with the Internet boards. Stop a storyline in midstream if necessary. But don't lose viewers over hated stories. I honestly think people like Frons have been hired over the years to kill our soaps. I actually went out and bought some type of TV gadget to turn my old TV into an Internet TV so I can get Hulu and watch OLTL. I only started watching this when Kim Zimmer moved over, but the stories told are wonderful. I was on the edge of my seat watching the two Todds. I love this soap now...more than B&B & Y&R (which I have watched from day 1) because of great writing -- Robin H.

  27. I totally disagree with #6. Possession was a wonderfully creative and interesting storyline.

    I'll agree the copycats were bad, but I liked that Days was fun and action based and different than the other soaps. Each soap should have it's niche, and excitement and adventure was Days!

    Possession was NOT a mistake. Not finding creative writing talent to continue with fun riveting stories was the mistake.

  28. Where are the top 5?

  29. Watching old youtube clips of Terry Lester and Brenda Dickson, it's so obvious that Jack and Jill have become shadows of their former selves. Peter Bergman and Jess Walton are FINE actors, but the characters do not have the same layers and depth that were there with the original actors. Perhaps part of it is the writing, and perhaps part of it is the fact that the characters themselves have aged, and perhaps mellowed, over the years, but Jill especially has become a caricature.

  30. I think Frons made a very very BIG mistake. Soap opera viewers are soap opera viewers. I, like many others, will definitely turn to the internet to view AMC and OLTL and/or start another soap on a different network. He had a staple with these two soaps and now, I truly believe, their programming will be going through many many changes in the future.

  31. To Jennifer and Jonathan who take umbrage to the "Possession" storyline being noted, I encourage you to re-watch the clips that are on YouTube of the storyline. While the pacing and subject matter may have been noteworthy, the actual day to day dialogue is abominable. How these skilled actors said them without asking to be dropped from their contracts, is beyond me. I fully believe that if Days had continued the strong storytelling of just a year earlier (Marlena/John's affair, Kim's personality disorder, Carly/Bo/Lawrence triangle), the audience would have built on that alone, not on the sensational and insulting dreck that they ended up losing their audience with

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I don't know about that.
      While I see your logic and respect it, I can't ignore the fact Reilly did great things to make sure Days went from 7 to 2 in the ratings: Carly's buried alive, making Sami into a superbitch, Giving Bo/Hope their 2nd win as a supercouple, making Lucas into a Horton, turning Kirsten/Peter/Lexie into Dimeras. Most soap fans - especially old school Days fans- like to crap on James Reilly but forget he saved Days at the right time in soap history had not been for him, I don't think Days would be with us and been long but canceled because NBC too wanted out of soaps as well. Now would I want another demon possession story in daytime again, absolutely not (so Ron Carlivati don't you dare try)! That worked in the 1990s when things were wild and crazy and we didn't have Netflix, Hulu and YouTube that seems to give us better forms of storytellings than soaps nowadays. Soaps need to return back to what they do best is telling layered, captivating, love in the afternoon, fun and energized drama series without the cliches or tropes! Sadly it seems like GH will be repeating the 2 Todds or the Real Roman Brady stories with the return of Steve Burton and Billy Miller being there.

  32. Possession was incredible..I must admit not common in a soap but why not possible! Besides, ratings skyrocketed because Deidre Hall aced the storyline with with one incredible performance so much that people just know what you're talking bout when you say "the possession storyline"!Too bad she didn't get an Emmy cause she sure as hell deserved it!

  33. I would like my beloved Mia Korf to return to Llanview and expose Faux Blair. To this day, it still pisses me off that Blair was recast with a white woman.

  34. I can also count the ridiculous number of errors that Ron Carlivati has made as head writer of OLTL.

    Brining Clint back. Jerry Ver Dorn will always be Ross Marler. He is NOT Clint Buchanan.

    The whole Mitch/Jessica/Rex/Echo/Clint nonsense. Clint is Jessica's father. Nat is not Viki's daughter and Rex is not Clint's son. That's the way it should be.

    Todd and his special needs twin and Irene being alive. Irene died of cancer 30 years ago.

    Antonio being Carlotta's son. The stupid retconning turning Antonio into a Santi still irks me.

    Todd being a Lord and Viki as Victor's killer. Two huge blunders.
    Thankfully Dorian seems to be the only one who remembers she killed Victor.

    I could go on but it'll take all day.

    1. Fronz and Frank Valentini made sure OLTL were no longer with us. Yes Carlivati wrote OLTL but the people had to sign off on his tomfoolery or forced him to do crap stories like Mitch resurfacing.

  35. *that should say "bringing"

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  37. Why didn't recycling headwriters over the years make the list?? A lot of stories I've seen over the last 10 year have been rehashes or hack jobs! Dena Higley, for example, has used repeated stories on other characters and they come off as twice ridiculous (ie. Phillip/Mimi surrogate storyline vs Nicole/Chloe surrogate storyline, Sami shooting EJ in the head vs Hope killing Stefano, or EJ needing a green card vs Dario needing a green card)! Don't even get me started on Megan McTavish how she bastardized iconic stories and characters with her writing (killing Dixie with pancakes and undoing Erica's abortion). It's like the executives think we're stupid that we can't see hacking being played out before our very eyes! IT REALLY FRUSTRATES ME THESE ARE WOMEN WHO ARE DESTROYING A WOMEN'S GENRE, WTF! Which leads me to the obvious why soaps have all but died the last few decades is the refusal to find new and fresh talented writers, especially women, that actually get these shows histories and characters to create memorable stories. All I have seen the last 15 years are the same names and faces bouncing from one soap to another show killing them one by one: Megan McTavish (hired 3 times at AMC), Dena Higley (hired 3 times at Days and her run at OLTL), Chuck Pratt (how he continued McTavish destruction and how he allowed YR too be as unwatchable), Josh Griffith (hired twice at YR and destroyed Days with one shocking, gross storyline after another with no rhyme or reason), Shelly Altman (snoozefest), and Jean Passanante (snoozefest). All I'm saying I'd love to see more new fresh, talent to write these shows that gets it. Because what's been going on the last 10-15 years has been a downright disgrace in to terms of storyline direction.