I’m really happy to hear the news (reported this morning on a number of sites) that Martha Byrne – the definitive Lily on As The World Turns – is starting a new chapter in her professional career as a writer for The Bold and The Beautiful.
I’m incredibly happy for Martha. And a little jealous too – you know, those damn bloggers are all frustrated soap writer wannabes. ; – ) I’m glad people like Martha and Tom Casiello, people who clearly love the genre and seem to really understand it, are at work as writers.
Daytime has a long history of actors who segue into behind-the-scenes creative roles. Of course, we have Chris Goutman and Ellen Wheeler as producers. Grant Aleksander has directed, and Susan Flannery does so on a consistent basis. ATWT’s Don Hastings and Marie Masters have written for that show over the years, and GL’s Jay Hammer (Fletcher) also wrote for GL at one point.
Jay’s ex, Pamela Long, had the unique role on Texas of being both an actress and the show’s head writer in its final days. Of course, she moved on to Guiding Light. And we can’t forget the master himself, Douglas Marland. Mr. Marland was an actor before he became a writer, and even acted on ATWT – he played Lisa’s doctor during her “phantom pregnancy” storyline!
There have been plenty of people who have talked about their ideas in print – Jerry verDorn and Cady McClain come immediately to mind – whose intelligence and love for the genre suggests they’d make fantastic writers or producers.
We can all agree that every show has hit a bump creatively in the last 5 years. It might be because of budgets, or network interference, or a mad dash to spike ratings. But I think some shows have also made mistakes bringing in writers that are unfamiliar with daytime, and trying to make their show more like nighttime. *sneeze*EllenWeston*sneeze*
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating – it’s a very special alchemy that makes a soap special and compelling. Here’s hoping all of the shows turn to the people who know it so deeply and love it so well. These are the best chances for the genre to survive.